9 Ways to Lower Your Risk of Heart Disease

9 Ways to Lower Your Risk of Heart Disease

Heart disease kills 655,000 Americans every year. Fortunately, you can do a lot to decrease your odds of becoming a CDC statistic.

As part of our ongoing commitment to providing outstanding healthcare service, At Gulf West Medical Associates, Dr. Rajesh Dave and our team offer the following nine tips for decreasing your risk of developing heart disease.

1. Get moving

Adding physical activity to your routine is one of the healthiest habits you can develop to protect your heart. And you don’t need to run a grueling marathon to gain its benefits. Brisk walking, cycling, swimming, or jumping rope all help improve heart function. Focus on getting 30 minutes of moderate exercise at least five days a week.    

2. Sleep well

It may sound too simple, but getting a good night’s sleep decreases your risk of developing high blood pressure (hypertension), obesity, depression, and diabetes. It also lowers your risk of having a heart attack. Most adults require seven hours of uninterrupted sleep nightly.

3. Eat for your heart

It’s probably your least favorite of the nine tips on this list, but it’s hard to overstate the importance of a heart-healthy diet. If you can’t avoid them altogether, at least start with reducing your intake of high-fat, salty foods and sugary beverages. Consider scheduling a wellness exam here at MyDoc Urgent Care for more heart-healthy nutritional guidelines and ongoing support.

4. Watch your weight

Excess pounds, especially those that gather at your waistline, significantly increase your risk of developing heart disease, hypertension, and diabetes. The good news? If you are following tips one through three on this list, your weight will naturally decrease.

5. Stop smoking

Cigarettes, secondhand smoke, and other forms of tobacco contain chemicals that damage your heart muscle, and blood vessels throughout your body. Smoking also makes your heart work harder to supply oxygen to your body and brain. These factors all increase your risk of developing serious heart and circulatory issues.

6. Add strength training to your exercise routine

Resistance training may include working out with free weights, resistance bands, or body resistance exercises such as pushups or squats, develops lean muscle mass, reduces bad (LDL) cholesterol levels, and increases good (HDL) cholesterol levels. And you only need two (nonconsecutive) workouts a week to benefit from strength training.

7. Relax

Stress linked to worry over bills, work schedules, and other issues can cause significant damage to your emotional health and physical wellbeing. Hormones released during stressful times can elevate blood pressure, increase cholesterol levels, and reduce your ability to sleep.

You may also find yourself snacking more or indulging in habits like smoking when you’re stressed. Interestingly, routine physical activity, healthy sleep patterns, and nutritious diets help reduce stress and its effects.

8. Manage your health conditions

Diabetes, hypertension, elevated cholesterol, and other treatable conditions significantly increase your risk of developing heart disease. Maintaining reasonable control through prescribed medications, diet, routine exercise, and other actions directed by your physician reduces that risk.

9. Stay connected

The early symptoms of heart disease are often subtle. Like so many other health issues, however, early diagnosis dramatically increases the effectiveness of various treatments for conditions that have a negative impact on your heart. Staying connected with your MyDoc provider for wellness exams, blood pressure checks, and various screening labs can alert us to a problem early in its course.

For outstanding primary care that includes oversight of your heart health, contact our office in Port Richey, Florida, to set up an appointment.

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