Strategies to Lower Your Risk of Heart Disease
Heart disease refers to various heart conditions, including coronary artery disease, congenital heart defects, arrhythmias, and heart valve disease. Fortunately, preventive cardiology Upper East Side can help prevent most forms of heart disease. Sometimes a healthier lifestyle choice is all you need to avoid heart disease. Although you can’t change risk factors like family history, age, or sex, there are various ways to lower your risk of heart disease. Here are tips to boost your heart’s health.
Give up smoking
Smoking is a bad habit that harms your heart and overall health. Smokeless tobacco is also harmful to your health, as is secondhand smoke. Therefore, even if you are not a smoker, refrain from being around smoking zones. When you smoke, nicotine constricts your blood vessels, reducing the oxygen concentration in the blood. As a result, your heart rate and blood pressure increase since the heart has to work harder to supply enough oxygen to your brain and body.
Do not be discouraged if you are a chronic smoker. The good news is that heart disease risk starts dropping in as little as a day after quitting. A year of not smoking drops the risk to about half: how much or how long you smoked doesn’t matter; you will reap the benefits as soon as you quit.
Eat a healthy, balanced diet.
The foods you eat significantly determine the health of your heart. Your diet should be balanced and consist of healthy foods, including whole grains, legumes, vegetables, fruits, low-fat, healthy foods, and healthy fats. Limit the salt you eat since too much salt increases your blood pressure. You also want to avoid foods with saturated fats since they increase bad cholesterol levels in your blood. Examples of foods high in saturated fats include ghee, butter, meat pies, sausages, hard cheese, lard, cream, and fatty cuts of meat.
Maintain a healthy weight
Extra body weight, especially around your body’s midsection, increases your risk of heart disease. Being overweight can also lead to conditions that elevate your risk of developing heart disease; they include type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. Your healthcare provider can recommend the ideal weight based on height and weight.
Be more physically active.
Regular physical activity lowers your risk of heart disease and is vital for your overall well-being. When you exercise regularly, you lose extra pounds and stay within your ideal weight; a healthy weight lowers your risk of high blood pressure. The heart is a muscle that requires exercise like any other muscle in the body for it to function correctly. Exercise strengthens your heart, allowing it to pump blood around your body with less effort.
Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise, 75 minutes of vigorous exercise, and two or more strength training sessions per week. If you have been inactive for a while, consider starting slowly as you work your way up to these goals.
If you are at risk of heart disease, consult your specialist at Upper East Side Cardiology to know how you can benefit from preventive cardiology.