5 lifestyle choices you should make for better heart health
Posted By Suborna Fermi
Posted on Nov 15, 2023
Heart disease is a very common condition and is one of the major causes of death worldwide. According to the CDC, most people with heart diseases have at least one disability related to vision, hearing, and mobility. There are certain risk factors that can raise your risk of developing heart disease.
What risk factors cannot be controlled?
- Age: As you age, your risk of developing heart disease increases. Men who are 45 and women aged 55 or more are at higher risk.
- Gender: The symptoms of heart disease may vary from men to women. For instance, diabetic women are more at risk of having heart disease than men.
- Family health history: Your risk of heart disease increases if you have a close family member who has had heart disease at an early age.
How can I lower my risk of heart disease?
Although you cannot control certain risk factors, there are many things you can do to lower your risk of heart disease.
1. Quitting tobacco
If you use tobacco products, quitting tobacco is the most crucial step to lowering your risk of heart disease. Smoking is one of the leading causes of coronary heart disease, heart attack, and stroke. Smoking tobacco causes plaque buildup in the arteries, which leads to the hardening of the arteries. It also raises blood pressure and lowers good cholesterol levels, which puts stress on the arteries. Smoking causes organ damage over time, which impairs the body's daily function and increases the risk of heart disease.
2. Be mindful of your diet and nutrition
What you eat on a daily basis plays a huge role in your heart health. No matter if you have a family history of heart disease, having a good diet can significantly lower your chances of developing it. A heart-healthy diet includes:
- Higher portions of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains
- Healthy fats, such as nuts, herbs, and olive oil
- Try to eat fish at least two times a week
However, only eating more vegetables and fruits may efficiently help in lowering your risk of heart disease if you do not limit your consumption of saturated or trans fat. That is why it is important to avoid certain foods that worsen heart disease.
3. Exercising and maintaining a healthy weight
Many studies have found that exercising and managing a healthy weight range are beneficial for lowering blood pressure and preventing heart conditions. Exercising does not need to be intensive; instead, the goal is to stay active. Many experts suggest doing 30 to 60 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise five days a week. Balancing your calorie intake can also help with your weight management.
4. Managing high blood sugar levels
Having high blood sugar levels raises your risk of heart disease. Unmanaged diabetes can damage several organs, blood vessels, and arteries, which can lead to peripheral artery disease and stroke. Therefore, if you have diabetes, make sure to manage your condition to prevent heart disease and further complications.
5. Control your blood pressure
High blood pressure, or hypertension puts pressure on the cardiovascular system and elevates your risk of developing heart disorders. Therefore, make sure to manage your blood pressure to prevent heart disease.
Along with these, make sure to get 7 to 8 hours of sleep every day. Many studies have found that people who experience stress for a longer period of time are more likely to develop heart disease. There are many ways in which you can reduce stress levels. Letting go of worries and spending time with your friends or family can help elevate your state of mind.