In the US, heart disease is the number one cause of death, but you can take several preventive measures to avoid it. You can take your first steps toward a healthy lifestyle today to avoid heart problems at the later stages of your life.
What are the Risk Factors?
1. High Blood Cholesterol
High cholesterol levels in your blood increase the chances of heart disease. Eat foods high in fiber and low in cholesterol and saturated fat, such as vegetables, fruits, nuts, whole grains, and lean meat. Avoid processed meats, sugary drinks, and carbohydrates as much as you can.
2. Stay Physically Active
For adults, 150 minutes of walking at a brisk pace are recommended each week, or you can do 75 minutes of vigorous activity each week.
It will help you manage your weight and keep your heart healthy.
3. Work Toward Maintaining Healthy Weight
Overweight or obese individuals are more likely to develop heart diseases. Extra weight causes high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and type-2 diabetes, which are all dangerous for your heart.
You can calculate your BMI to keep an eye on your weight. A BMI over 25 can signal the presence of high blood pressure and cholesterol, so you should manage it accordingly.
4. Get Enough Sleep
One aspect of avoiding heart diseases most people ignore is getting enough good quality sleep. The lack of sleep causes more than just tired raccoon eyes — it leads to obesity, heart attack, depression, and diabetes.
Make a habit of getting at least 7 hours of sleep every day. Schedule your timetable accordingly, and strictly follow it to accommodate your sleep.
5. Manage Your Stress
There are better ways to cope with stress than indulging in unhealthy coping mechanisms like smoking, drinking, or overeating. In fact, it does more harm than good.
Increase your physical activity and exercise regularly to bring your stress levels down. There are plenty of relaxation exercises that you can perform.
6. Get Regularly Checked
You’ll probably never know you’ve developed high blood pressure and high cholesterol if you don’t visit your doctor regularly.
For cholesterol, it’s recommended to get screened every four years after the age of 20. However, if you have developed risk factors, you need to start getting tested much earlier.
People showing risk factors for diabetes, like being overweight, should start getting tested immediately. People who don’t show any signs should start their screening after the age of 45.
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