Five Steps You Can Take to Avoid Heart Disease

Oct 27 • 2014
Five Steps You Can Take to Avoid Heart Disease

Did you know that heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States? Although some of the risk factors are genetic and cannot be altered, there are other things you can control when it comes to preventing heart disease.

Skip the Cigarette
Smoking cigarettes or using any other kind of tobacco is one of the biggest risk factors when it comes to developing heart disease. The chemicals found in tobacco damage your heart and narrow your arteries, while the carbon monoxide leads to increased blood pressure and heart rate. The more you smoke, the greater your risk, but even social smoking greatly increases the chance that you will develop heart disease.

Exercise Each Week
You don’t have to become a marathon runner, but getting regular exercise is a huge factor in reducing the risk of heart disease. Working out allows you to control your weight and keep your heart from feeling strained. If you work out moderately for 30-60 minutes several times per week, this can reap major benefits. Try incorporating exercise into your daily routine by walking the dog, jogging with the stroller, or even cleaning the house.

Develop the Diet
A heart-healthy diet is a crucial step. Include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat proteins in your daily meals. Limit the saturated and trans fats that you are taking in by monitoring the amount of red meat, dairy products, and fried food you consume. It is also important to make sure any alcohol intake is done in moderation. By combining a heart-healthy diet with a regular workout schedule, you are also able to control your weight, another risk factor when it comes to heart disease.

Sleep Soundly
You may think that missing out on sleep will simply leave you tired, but it can also have a negative effect on your health. Sleep deprivation can lead to obesity, high blood pressure, heart attack, diabetes, and even depression. Attempt to get seven to nine hours of sleep each night and try to stick to a schedule.

See Your Doctor
Having regular checkups can help you better maintain your health on all levels. Getting your cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood sugar tested at your doctor’s office can provide you with information on how to change your lifestyle in order to avoid developing heart disease in the future.

Visit our Heart and Vascular Care page for more information about heart services at Baptist, or find a physician by visiting our Find a Doctor page.