Your heart health is crucial to overall good health. The benefits of having a healthy heart are many. Did you know that according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one person dies every 34 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease?
There are various causes such as diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure and cholesterol which are some of the leading factors responsible for heart diseases. If you are an individual with any of these ailments, it is important that you read this article thoroughly and make the necessary changes to live a heart healthy life.
What are the factors that cause heart-related diseases?
- No physical activity.
- High blood pressure.
- Excessive consumption of alcohol.
- Use of tobacco and cigarettes.
- Excessive use of salt in your diet can increase blood pressure.
- Consuming a diet which is high in saturated fats, trans fat and cholesterol.
5 Things to do to avoid heart diseases
1. Avoid Smoking
Smoking cigarettes is bad for your health and heart. According to statistics, cigarette smoking has caused more than 480,000 deaths annually in the United States. With about one of every five deaths dying of related illnesses. While quitting smoking is not an easy feat, it is preventable. Once you understand the implications it has on your heart, body and blood cells, you will make the right choice.
Smoking is responsible for the narrowing and hardening of blood vessels, which is known as arteriosclerosis. Due to the formation of plague, the organ cells slowly suffer from insufficient oxygen leading to death. When the blood vessels are damaged, it results in ischemic heart disease, wherein the person suffers from arrhythmias, heart failure, and heart attack.
2. Watch out for your cholesterol levels
While cholesterol is found in certain foods you consume, it is also made by your liver. Your liver provides sufficient for your body’s needs, but the extra cholesterol tends to build up in the walls of your arteries, especially those of your heart. This results in narrowing of the arteries which decreases the blood supply to the main organs such as the brain, heart, and kidneys.
There are two types of cholesterol you should know of:
- HDL (high-density lipoprotein) cholesterol also called as good cholesterol
- LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol also called as bad cholesterol
Obesity is another major reason for good and bad cholesterol. Obesity is essentially excess body fat that leads to high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes. If you’re thinking, “How can we keep our heart healthy?” – the answer is with a good healthcare provider like the American CPR Care Association you can focus on your weight goals and keep your heart healthy.
What makes the Mediterranean diet heart-healthy? A Mediterranean diet is a wholesome diet consisting of fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, grains, bread, eggs, poultry, fish and dairy products. Use olive oil in your diet as it helps in lowering your cholesterol levels.
Higher levels of good cholesterol provide protection against heart disease. To check if you have high blood cholesterol, you need to get yourself checked regularly. Connect with your healthcare provider and ask for a lipid profile to be done. It will measure your cholesterol levels.
3. Check your blood pressure levels regularly
Did you know high blood pressure is referred to as a ‘silent killer?’ It is because it has no symptoms.
One of the major risk factors for heart disease is high blood pressure. It is essential to monitor your blood pressure levels to ensure your heart is healthy. High blood pressure or hypertension occurs when the pressure of the blood in your arteries and blood vessels is exceptionally high. This affects the heart and blood vessels and damages the arteries that supply blood to the heart. When your blood pressure levels are high, it can damage and block the blood vessels obstructing blood flow which in turn leads to a heart attack. If not controlled, it can also affect your heart and other vital organs of the body.
Hypertension is responsible for causing the heart to enlarge and decreasing its ability to perform its function. Measuring your blood pressure is the only way to find out if you have high blood pressure. This is why we advise you to check your blood pressure levels regularly. If you have high blood pressure, ensure you read up on the risk factors of this silent killer.
However, you need not worry, blood pressure can be controlled with essential lifestyle changes and medication to prevent the risk of a heart attack.
4. Keep your blood sugar level in check
Adults with diabetes have a high risk of getting heart attacks. Diabetes mellitus causes sugar to accumulate or build up in the bloodstream. This is responsible for damaging your blood vessels, and destroying the nerves that control the proper functioning of your heart. People with diabetes have a higher risk of heart problems than people who do not suffer from diabetes. If you have diabetes, it is crucial to control your blood sugar levels and keep it normal.
Meet up with your doctor and talk with him/her to understand the different ways to prevent and control diabetes.
5. Consuming alcohol in moderation
Drinking alcohol has no nutritional value for your body. It is consumed as a luxury to make you happy but does it? It only damages your liver and other vital organs instead. Therefore, binge drinking of alcohol should be completely avoided. If you’re wondering, “How to keep your heart healthy?” – ensure to consume alcohol in moderation. Alcohol in excess harms your health and heart muscles which results in cardiomyopathy and arrhythmias. Heavy drinkers are at a risk of getting high blood pressure.
To avoid cardiovascular diseases, it is of utmost importance that you take care of your heart. However, that should not be the only motivating factor to keep your heart healthy. Put your health on top priority by choosing to go on a walk instead of watching something on your phone. Taking the right steps towards a heart-healthy lifestyle may be one of the best things you can give yourself this season of giving. Check out our website American CPR Care Association and stay ahead with our courses.