The way we live our lives on a daily basis affects our cardiovascular health. Everything from blood pressure to the likelihood of developing heart disease is connected to our daily habits.
As we get older, blood vessels become thinner due to long-term fatty deposits and plaque buildup along the vessel wall. Also, the force of contraction of the heart weakens, which affects the ability of the heart to pump blood across the organs.
Understandably, aging is a risk factor for developing heart disease. But other factors contribute as well. Fortunately, there are healthy lifestyle choices you can make to keep a healthy heart.
We need to constantly stay conscious of these lifestyle choices as we celebrate the National Wear Red Day and bring attention to heart disease.
Getting at least 30-minutes of moderate physical activity per day can be a game-changer for heart disease prevention.
Understandably, most people live busy lives, so they may be strapped for time. But exercising regularly for the prevention of heart disease and stroke does not mean carrying heavy dumbbells.
You can start by considering minor activities such as walking, cycling, and more. These activities also have the added benefit of helping you maintain a healthy weight and controlling your blood sugar while moderating your blood flow.
Avoid Leading A Sedentary Life
A sedentary lifestyle characterized by physical inactivity is a risk factor for heart disease. The more you sit, the more profound negative consequences you’re accumulating for your heart.
A sedentary lifestyle slows down your blood flow and affects your body’s ability to process fats effectively. The consequence of which is plaque buildup on the walls of the arteries.
Beyond having a negative impact on the heart, a person’s ability to use insulin is diminished. This is called insulin resistance and is one of the leading causes of type 2 diabetes.
Eat Healthy Fats
Saturated fats and trans fats are bad dietary choices for your heart. These fats have been linked to being a chief risk for coronary heart failure. Saturated fats are solid at room temperature, which makes them a poor dietary choice for your heart.
Typically, fat sources are usually a mix of different types of saturated and unsaturated fats. The goal for the prevention of heart disease is to have more unsaturated fats than saturated fats.
Olive oil, canola oil, avocados, and almonds are great sources of unsaturated fats which are more beneficial to the heart. Some of these unsaturated fats have omega-3 fats which cannot be synthesized by the body and it’s yet beneficial for the heart.
Pizza, cheese, fried desserts, doughnuts, and baked cookies, on the other hand, are great sources of saturated fats which are not beneficial for the heart.
Consuming a high amount of these fats poses a great risk for cardiovascular diseases.
Quit Smoking & Using Tobacco Products
If you smoke, you are 4 times more at risk of facing the consequences of heart disease. Cigarette smoke contains a handful of chemicals that can damage the heart.
For instance, the nicotine in cigarette smoke can increase your blood pressure and make your heart work harder than usual. The carbon monoxide it contains poisons the blood and reduces the ability of the blood to transport oxygen to your heart and other organs.
Quitting smoking is an excellent choice to prevent heart diseases and their consequences. It only requires a conscious choice and mental readiness to quit smoking successfully.
Maintain A Healthy Weight
Obesity is popularly called a “silent heart killer.” Being overweight can lead to fat deposits building up in your blood vessels which can lead to a heart attack.
Carrying around excess weight makes it difficult for your heart to efficiently pump blood and increases your chances of developing diabetes.
One of your best strategies for maintaining a healthy weight is by actually losing weight or watching your weight. This involves making a conscious choice of eating healthy, sitting less, and more routine exercise.
Avoid Too Much Alcohol
Excessive alcohol intake is one of the leading causes of the development of heart disease. Alcohol is a high source of excessive calories, which can contribute to weight gain.
Additionally, if you drink too much alcohol, you’re at risk of developing cardiomyopathy, a condition that weakens the heart muscle and makes it more difficult to pump blood. This condition can lead to heart failure or, ultimately, sudden death.
Manage Stress Levels
Too much stress, physically or emotionally, can trouble the heart. Too much stress can lead to depressive syndromes and anxieties. Depression results in a sedentary lifestyle and attending consequences for heart disease. Anxiety also raises blood pressure.
You can manage stress by practicing relaxation, exercising regularly, sleeping well enough, and adopting a relaxing hobby.
Cut Down On Salt
Too much salt provides your body with too much sodium, which can cause fluid retention and ultimately high blood pressure.
Keeping tabs on your salt intake is a great dietary choice for preventing high blood pressure and other adverse cardiovascular events such as stroke and heart failure.
We provide expert pharmacy advice regarding your health and medication needs at Carolina Pharmacy. Feel free to contact us for tips to prevent heart disease in Charlotte, Lancaster, and Rock Hill.