According to the CDC, heart diseases are the leading cause of death in the United States. This means that nearly every second, someone is dying from a heart-related disease in the country. There are various factors that can increase your risk of getting heart disease. Unfortunately, some of these are not in your control, for example, age, sex, and ethnicity.
Luckily, there are some risk factors that you can control in order to minimize your chances of heart disease. If you have been wondering how to prevent heart disease and live a longer, healthier life, keep reading as we discuss the top ways to prevent them.
Ways to Prevent Heart Disease
Here are some lifestyle changes and eating habits you can adopt to ensure optimal heart health.
1. Have a Heart-Healthy Diet
One of the most obvious ways to prevent heart disease is to control your diet and limit your consumption of saturated fats or of foods that contain high amounts of sodium. Do not eat too much meat or have a lot of sodas or sugar-filled drinks.
Instead, have a heart-healthy diet that contains fresh fruits, plentiful vegetables, and whole grains, nuts, and legumes.
2. Exercise Regularly
Another effective method to limit your risk of having any heart disease or heart-related problem is to engage in physical activity and exercise regularly. If you want good heart health, exercise is essential. Exercise provides you with innumerable benefits besides preventing heart disease. For example, it helps lower cholesterol and blood pressure, improves bones, and increases blood circulation.
3. Monitor Cholesterol and Blood Pressure
High cholesterol and blood pressure are significant contributors to heart disease, which is why you need to incorporate lifestyle changes to control them. Meet your healthcare provider regularly in order to be sure that your blood pressure and cholesterol levels are not too high. If they are, your doctor will provide you with a treatment plan to control and reduce it. Though lifestyle changes are sufficient in reducing them, in some cases, they might prescribe you medication.
4. Manage Stress
When you are undergoing too much stress or anxiety, it can increase your blood pressure. This may, in turn, increase your risk of getting heart disease. In fact, too much stress can even trigger a heart attack. Stress coping mechanisms such as smoking or overeating can also be causes of heart diseases.
Hence, practicing meditation and breathing exercises can help manage stress and thus prevent heart diseases.
5. Limit Alcohol
Alcohol can also increase your blood pressure, which thus contributes to heart diseases. It also contributes to weight gain, which can increase your risk of heart disease and related problems. Hence, you should only be having one or two drinks a day.
6. Avoid Smoking
Smoking can lower the rate of your 'good' cholesterol and weaken certain cells that are lining blood vessels. This increases your risk of blood clots and reduces the amount of blood going to your heart and brain. As a result, your risk of getting heart disease is significantly enhanced through smoking. If you are a smoker, you should stop it as soon as you can.