When you think about death rates, what do you imagine as the most prevalent cause? Car accidents? Old age? Cancer? Well, according to The Heart Foundation, heart disease is the number one cause of death amongst Americans. In fact, someone in the United States has a heart attack every 34 seconds. As a nation, we must identify and recognize the causes of heart disease so that knowledge can be spread throughout the people. We need to protect our future generations so that they can live healthy lives without the risk of death from heart attack, stroke, or other cardiovascular diseases. Protecting future generations means setting the right example now. Fortunately, anyone can take steps to maintain cardiovascular health, prevent high risk for heart disease, and set the right example for future generations by practicing a few tips.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
Most experts agree that a healthy weight helps to maintain cardiovascular health. Being overweight causes stress on the heart that can lead to the development of heart health issues. Additionally, overweight individuals are more likely to have high blood pressure and cholesterol levels, which can translate into heart disease over time. To maintain a healthy weight, exercise for at least 30 minutes five times a week and get your heart pumping. After all, the heart is a muscle that needs exercise to run at its best!
Eat Less Bad Fats and More Good Fats
Diets high in saturated fats can increase an individual’s cholesterol levels which blocks blood flow through arteries. This, in turn, blocks necessary blood oxygen flow to the heart and can lead to the development of heart disease. Aim to manage how much fat you take in your diet by choosing low fat options and less red meats. Additionally, start eating foods that contain good fats. Nutrition levels suggest that 10% of your daily nutritional intake should include fats. Instead of saturated and trans fats, select natural fats found in foods like avocados, nuts, and fish. If you think that cholesterol may be playing a part in the decline in your heart health, ask your doctor to perform a cholesterol test so that you can be sure of where your levels stand and can begin a healthier lifestyle today.
Stop Smoking Cigarettes
Smoking and being around smoke increases an individual’s chance of developing heart diseases. To reduce the risk, quit smoking and avoid lingering around those who do. Smoking and secondhand smoke increases blood pressure and puts strain on the heart. Obviously, doing this for years increases the risk even more. If you are trying to live a life that maintains cardiovascular health, smoking must be eliminated.
Reduce Stress Levels
Stress can jumpstart problems that lay dormant, making a bad situation worse. Many experts agree that stress affects blood pressure and overall cardiovascular health. Work to manage levels of stress by dealing with it differently. Instead of overeating, lack of sleep, and smoking, work to manage stress in other ways. Exercise is a great stress reducer and also helps to maintain healthy weight levels and keep the heart healthy. Along with managing stress in different ways, try to prevent it in the first place. Spend time doing things that you know are stress free. Things that you enjoy. Spend time outdoors with family, go on a hike, or make time for yourself with yoga or mindfulness meditation techniques. There are a number of ways that you can work to reduce stress levels. Everyone manages their own stress differently. Find what works for you and stick with it to live a more healthy and happy life!
Get the Help you Need
Are you having trouble maintaining cardiovascular health? Talk to your doctor about your heart health and symptoms you may be experiencing. Along with lifestyle changes, you may need the assistance of a prescription heart treatment. Thinking of asking your doctor about a prescription to help manage cardiovascular health? Already have a prescription? You may have trouble paying for the high cost of heart disease medications. Patient assistance programs, like the ones offered through The RX Helper, help millions of Americans who cannot afford the cost of their prescription medications due to a lack of health insurance.
Remember, only you can decide that your cardiovascular health should be maintained. Do what you can to live a life that will set the right example for the future of our great nation!