More than 868,000 Americans die of heart disease, stroke, or other cardiovascular diseases every year—that’s one-third of all US deaths. The term “heart disease” refers to several types of heart conditions. The most common type of cardiovascular disease in the United States is coronary artery disease (CAD), which affects the blood flow to the heart. Decreased blood flow can cause a heart attack.
By living a healthy lifestyle, you can help keep your blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar levels normal and lower your risk for cardiovascular disease and heart attack. Fortunately, there are many things you can do to reduce your chances of getting heart disease:
- Control your blood pressure. High blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart disease. It is important to get your blood pressure checked regularly – at least once a year for most adults, and more often if you have high blood pressure. Take steps, including lifestyle changes, to prevent or control high blood pressure.
- Stay at a healthy weight. Being overweight or having obesity can increase your risk for heart health issues. This is mostly because they are linked to other heart disease risk factors, including high blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels, high blood pressure, and diabetes. Controlling your weight can lower these risks.
- Eat a healthy diet. Try to limit saturated fats, foods high in sodium, and added sugars. Eat plenty of fresh fruit, vegetables, and whole grains. The DASH diet is an example of an eating plan that can help you to lower your blood pressure and cholesterol, two things that can lower your risk of cardiovascular disease.
- Get regular exercise. Exercise has many benefits, including strengthening your heart and improving your circulation. It can also help you maintain a healthy weight and lower cholesterol and blood pressure. All of these can lower your risk of heart health issues.
These are just a few of the features we will focus on to help you maintain a healthy heart.