You can prevent heart disease by following a heart-healthy lifestyle. Here are strategies to help protect your heart.
Heart disease is one of the leading causes of death, but it is not inevitable. Although you can’t change some risk factors, like family history or age, there are many ways you can lower your risk of heart disease.
Start with these seven tips to improve your heart health:
Do not smoke or use tobacco
One of the best things you can do for your heart is to quit smoking. Even if you are not a smoker, make sure to avoid passive smoking.
The chemicals in tobacco can damage your heart and blood vessels. Cigarette smoke reduces the oxygen in your blood, which increases your blood pressure and heart rate because your heart has to work harder to get enough oxygen to your body and brain.
Quitting smoking reduces your risk of heart disease from the first day after quitting. After a year without cigarettes, your risk of heart disease drops to about half that of a smoker. No matter how long or how much you have smoked, you will benefit as soon as you quit.
Get moving: Aim for at least 30-60 minutes of activity per day
Regular daily physical activity can reduce your risk of heart disease. Physical activity helps you control your weight and decrease your chances of developing other conditions that can take a toll on your heart, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and type 2 diabetes.
If you’ve been inactive for a while, you may need to slowly resume physical activity, but at a minimum you should aim to:
150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise per week, e.g. B. Brisk walking
75 minutes per week of vigorous aerobic activity, such as B. Running
Two or more strength training sessions per week
Even shorter periods of activity offer cardiac benefits. So if you can’t meet these guidelines, don’t give up. Even a five-minute walk can help, and activities such as gardening, housekeeping, climbing stairs and walking the dog count against the activity total. You don’t have to exercise intensely to see benefits, but you may see greater effects as you increase the intensity, duration, and frequency of your physical activity sessions.
Eat a heart-healthy diet
Eating a healthy diet can help protect your heart, improve your blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and lower your risk of type 2 diabetes.
Vegetables and fruitsBeans or other legumesLean meat and fishWhole grainsHealthy fats like olive oilDASH and Mediterranean diets are excellent heart-healthy eating approaches.Limit your intake of the following:SaltSugarProcessed carbohydratesAlcohol
Saturated fats (found in red meat and high-fat dairy products) and trans fats (found in fried foods, chips, processed foods)
Maintain a healthy weight
Being overweight, especially around the waist, increases the risk of heart disease. Being overweight can lead to conditions that increase your chances of heart disease, including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and type 2 diabetes.
To find out if your weight is healthy, calculate your body mass index (BMI), which uses your height and weight to determine whether you have a healthy or unhealthy body fat percentage. A BMI of 25 or more is considered overweight and is generally associated with higher cholesterol, higher blood pressure, and an increased risk of heart disease and stroke.
Waist circumference can also be a useful tool to measure how much belly fat you have. Your risk of heart disease is higher if your waist measurement is greater than:
101.6 centimeters for men
88.9 cm for women
Even a small weight loss can be beneficial. Reducing weight by just 3% to 5% can help lower certain fats in your blood (triglycerides) and blood sugar (glucose) and reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes. Losing even more weight helps lower your blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
Get good sleep
Lack of sleep can cause more than just yawning. It can harm your health. People who don’t get enough sleep are at higher risk of obesity, high blood pressure, heart attack, diabetes and depression.
Most adults need at least seven hours of sleep each night. Make sleep a priority in your life. Set a sleep schedule and stick to it by going to bed and waking up at the same time every day. Keep your bedroom dark and quiet and at a temperature of 19-20°.
to cope with stress
Some people deal with stress in unhealthy ways and compensate by overeating, drinking, or smoking. Find other ways to deal with stress, such as physical activity, relaxation exercises, or meditation.
Get regular health checks
High blood pressure and high cholesterol can damage your heart and blood vessels. But without a test to measure them, you probably won’t know if you have these negative parameters. Regular screening will tell you what your numbers are and if you need to take any action.
From the age of 18, blood pressure should be measured at least every two years to identify high blood pressure as a risk factor for heart disease and stroke, and annually from the age of 40.
Adults should have a cholesterol test at least every four to six years. Earlier testing should be recommended if you have other risk factors, such as B. A family history of early heart disease.
Screening for type 2 diabetes.
Diabetes is a risk factor for heart disease. If you have risk factors for diabetes, such as If you have a family history of obesity or diabetes, your doctor may recommend early screening. If your weight is normal and you have no other risk factors for type 2 diabetes, screening is recommended from age 45, with repeat testing every three years.
* Presse Santé strives to convey health knowledge in a language accessible to all. In NO CASE can the information given replace the advice of a doctor.
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