Heart disease is not one type of disease but a label given to different types of cardiovascular conditions. These may include arrhythmias, heart failure, heart valve problems, and many others. Here are some ways to lower your risk for heart disease and live a long, healthy life:
Know Your Risk
The first thing you should do if you want to lower your risk for heart disease is find out exactly what your risk is. You should see a cardiologist to determine how at risk you are so you can develop a plan of attack. There are a few signs you should find out from your doctor:
- Your cholesterol levels
- If you have high blood pressure
- Your weight and if it is too high or low
- Whether or not you have diabetes
You should also quit smoking right away, as that significantly increases your risk for heart disease. Additionally, find out if heart conditions run in your family.
Monitor Your Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is dangerous because there are rarely symptoms for it. This is why you should see your doctor regularly to have it monitored. If they say that it is high, you will likely be given medication to help lower it. You will also be asked to get to a healthy weight and focus a lot on proper diet and exercise. It is also known as the "silent killer," so it is extremely important that you try to get your blood pressure to a proper level.
You should also start a regular exercise routine, as it can be very helpful at avoiding more serious cardiovascular conditions. When you exercise, more blood pumps to your heart, which helps to strengthen it. Cardio exercise is the most important kind when it comes to reducing your risk for heart disease. If you are out of shape, start slow by walking around your block.
Over time, start adding more minutes to your walk. If you started at just 5 minutes of walking, try 6 or 7 minutes tomorrow. Keep increasing it until you can walk for 30-60 minutes each time. Ask your doctor about other exercises that are safe to do with your current level of health.
Eat a Healthy Diet
In addition to your new exercise routine, you need to start eating healthier. If you have any doubts about what to eat and how much, ask your doctor. In general, you want to get rid of the fried and fatty food and replace them with a lot of whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. A heart-healthy diet includes these components as your main source of sustenance, in addition to lean protein, no trans fats, and no processed foods.
To learn more, contact a company like Cardiology Associates Of Schenectady PC with any questions you have.