Actively Preventing Heart Disease is a Resolution Our Healthcare Providers Love
Monday, January 18, 2016
In America, heart disease (the cause of heart attacks and strokes) is responsible for more deaths than all types of cancer combined. But smart choices and a dose of willpower could easily change that. If you want to make protecting your heart a priority this year, adopt these simple, commonsense habits.
1. Maintain a healthy weight.
Being overweight or obese strains all of your internal organs, but possibly none more than your heart. If you’re unsure whether or not you’re overweight, consult one of our healthcare providers. During an annual physical we can give you an ideal weight range for your gender, height, and body type. Another measure of healthy weight is to check your BMI. You can find out your BMI using this CDC calculator.
2. Quit smoking.
There are countless reasons to stop (or even better, never start) smoking, from avoiding gum disease to preventing lung cancer. But the best reason may be to save your heart. Did you know that 80% of all deaths from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease are a result of smoking? If you want to do just one good thing for yourself this year, stop smoking. You can find helpful resources for sticking to it on the smokefree.gov website.
3. Choose a whole foods diet.
Just like every other part of your body, your heart prefers natural foods, especially vegetables, healthy fats, and lean meats. If you’re at a loss for how to prepare healthy, whole foods in a way that your family won’t turn up their noses at, check out the recipes on the Blue Zones website.
4. Get enough sleep.
If you typically get less than six hours of sleep each night, you double your risk of heart disease, regardless of smoking habits, weight, gender, or exercise habits. At even higher risk for heart disease and stroke are those with sleep apnea. A condition that causes air restriction during sleep, apnea can triple your chances of developing heart disease.
5. Exercise regularly.
Exercise that causes an elevation in your heart rate, lowers your blood pressure, which reduces strain on the your heart. Regular exercise also lowers bad cholesterol and increases good cholesterol, which also makes your heart happy. If getting more exercise is a resolution on your list, be sure to stop into one of our offices for a sports physical before starting anything new.
Give us a call or stop in to one of our convenient locations if you ever have questions about your heart health. You never need an appointment to see one of our healthcare professionals and we’re always happy to help you get on the road to good health.