Heart disease causes the biggest number of deaths in the United States every year. With the number of risk factors for the disease, it will likely stay on top even though the disease that caused the pandemic continues to affect the country.
But people can reduce the risk of developing heart diseases even among those who have a genetic predisposition for the disease. They can prevent the disease at the start and stop it from getting worse. Acting on the risk factors allows people to stay healthy and avoid getting heart disease. Here are the things that people can do.
Perform Regular Exercise
Regular physical exercise can reduce cardiovascular mortality and improve the overall health of a person. According to the American Heart Association (AHA), people should engage in at least 150 minutes of moderately intense physical activities every week. But if they engage in vigorous physical activities, they should engage in it for at least 75 minutes per week.
Regular exercise lowers cholesterol levels, reduces blood pressure, controls blood sugar, and manages weight. With the pandemic yet to be over, people should be wary of the virus, especially after the emergence of a transmissible variant.
People can opt to join online fitness classes or jog around the neighborhood. And since people find it challenging to exercise all the time, they can break their exercise routines into smaller intervals to reach the minimum number of minutes to exercise each week.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
Maintaining a healthy weight is another way to reduce the risk of developing heart disease. Being overweight can increase the chances of getting sick. So, when people control their weight, they reduce the risk of getting sick. Obesity is also associated with a higher risk of contracting other diseases linked to heart disease. These diseases include diabetes and stroke.
When people lose weight, their blood pressure goes down. They will also reap the benefits of maintaining a healthy weight. But before people go on a weight-loss program, they should consult their doctor to ensure they do it properly.
Increase Fiber in the Diet
Increasing the fiber in the diet is also a good way to reduce the risk of heart disease. Eating more vegetables and lesser meat is a good way to increase the fiber content in the diet. It also reduces the amount of cholesterol-laden food that people eat every day.
When they reduce the fat in their diet, people will reduce the risk of developing heart disease. Aside from vegetables, people should also include whole grains, fruits, and soy products in their diet. They should understand that the more plant food they eat, the more fiber they include in their diets.
Smoking causes a lot of issues that have a lasting negative effect on the health of a person. Aside from causing cancer and lung diseases, smoking also causes chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and heart disease. So, it’s always a good idea not to start the vice or stop it as soon as possible.
Smoking can damage the cells lining the arteries and increase heart rate and blood pressure. It can also affect oral health. And since smoking affects oral health, people should also visit a dentist to have their teeth checked. Smoking causes tooth discoloration, increased plaque and tartar buildup, increased risk of gum disease, and a bigger risk of oral cancer. People should also remember that poor oral health is associated with a higher risk of cardiovascular disease. So, visiting the dentist also helps people reduce the risk of contracting heart disease.
Get Enough Rest
Getting enough rest is also important to reduce the risk of heart disease. Insufficient sleep is linked to several risk factors that cause heart disease. These factors include high blood pressure, diabetes, heart failure, and stroke.
Obstructive sleep apnea can also increase the risk of abnormal heartbeats and recurring heart attacks. The disorder also causes blood pressure to increase and strain a person’s cardiovascular system. So, a good night’s sleep is vital to lower the risk of developing heart disease.
Reduce Stress Levels
Even though stress is a part of life, high-stress levels can increase the risk of developing heart disease. When people go through high levels of stress, they tend to overeat, have an insufficient sleep, smoke, and become lethargic.
These are all risk factors for heart disease. Due to this, people should work to reduce the stress levels in their lives. They should consider practicing mindful meditation to reduce stress levels. People should also look for relaxing activities that they can do at the end of the day to reduce stress.
People should work towards reducing the risk of developing heart disease through changes in their diet and lifestyle.