Heart disease is more common than you might think. According to the American Heart Association, almost half of the adults in the United States have cardiovascular disease. Yikes!
If you have already been diagnosed with heart disease, it is critical that you work with your doctor to figure out the ideal treatment plan for your unique needs so you can get your health back on track. But, if you have not even been diagnosed with this condition, you can begin to take steps to prevent heart disease before it strikes.
There Are Ways to Prevent Heart Disease
It can be one of the scariest health problems, though there are some great ways to prevent heart disease. Many assume that if they have a family history of this health problem that they are doomed—but this doesn’t necessarily have to be true.
If you have a family history or if you are simply interested in prevention, you may be happy to know that there are effective ways to combat this health problem. There is always a way to turn it around, particularly if you start early enough. So if you want to be your healthiest and best, understanding the prevention steps can be key.
Head to the Doctor for Regular Checkups
Seeing your doctor for checkups on a regular basis, such as once a year, can help you prevent heart disease by catching problems in their earliest stages, when they are easiest to reverse and easiest to treat.
Here are a couple of important things to look at:
- Cholesterol – A simple blood test can reveal a lot about your cholesterol levels, and this test can be done at your annual physical exam, or whenever your doctor recommends it. If you have high cholesterol, it is important to take steps to lower it. Those steps might include changing your diet, exercising more, or taking medications. Also, if you have a family history of high cholesterol, consider checking it more often just to be sure you aren’t developing it.
- Blood Pressure – Checking your blood pressure regularly at home with a high-quality machine is a great way to keep an eye on the numbers so you can get help from your doctor if you notice they aren’t within the normal range. Remember, high blood pressure, also known as hypertension, often does not cause any symptoms, so the only way to know what’s going on is to have it checked. Your doctor will check it for you, too, when you go in for an appointment. Thankfully, if you are diagnosed with high blood pressure, there are things you can do to reduce it, such as lowering your sodium intake and changing your lifestyle for the better.
It All Starts with a Healthy Lifestyle and Reduced Stress Levels
Being proactive with creating a good healthy lifestyle is imperative.
The first thing to consider in how to prevent heart disease is that a healthy lifestyle is key. You want to truly learn how to take care of yourself and continue to do this moving forward. This includes, of course, eating right and exercising, as well as reducing your intake of alcohol and quitting smoking.
Also, you need to learn to manage your stress and to get enough rest each night. Stress and sleep deprivation can work against you and really hurt in the long run. Stress can cause a whole slew of health problems, including heart problems. The same goes for sleep deprivation and though it may be a slower onset for something like heart disease directly, it can really weigh on your body after a while.
What You Eat Has a Big Effect on Your Heart
As you think about how to prevent heart disease it’s really important to look at what you eat. It’s crucial to get rid of the fatty foods that can really work against your ability to stay healthy. When you eat fatty or processed foods this puts extra tax on the body, as does the extra weight that it causes you to add.
Try focusing on lean proteins, lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, good fats, and low fat dairy products. Learn to eat smaller meals more frequently throughout the day. Really be in control of what you eat and how you eat to work towards prevention of this and any other health problem.
Get Plenty of Exercise
Another thing to consider in how to prevent heart disease is to develop a truly active lifestyle. The more sedentary your lifestyle may be, the more that this can work against you.
It’s important to develop a good exercise regimen as this keeps the heart healthy and strong. Start small and then build upon your progress to ensure that you work through any limitations. Do get to a point where you challenge yourself and where you incorporate various elements like strength and cardio. This is yet another way to effectively prevent heart disease and ensure that you are your healthiest now and into the future.
Use these handy tips on how to prevent heart disease but remember to talk to your doctor if you have any questions about what you can do to improve your health and protect your ticker.