With heart disease ranked as the number one cause of death in the United States, there’s no time like the present to adopt a heart healthy lifestyle. No matter your age or background, there are several steps you can take to improve your health and wellness and reduce the risk of heart disease and its related conditions, such as heart attack and stroke.
Having helped many patients enhance their chronic disease management through healthy living, Jarvis Family Medical Services in Louisville, KY, wants to share some of the most effective ways to protect your heart.
5 Health & Wellness Tips to Build a Stronger Heart
1. Keep a Healthy Weight
Being overweight or obese can impact your heart in many ways, including increasing your risk of heart disease. In addition, since obesity causes the body to pump more blood, your heart has to work harder, which can strain the heart muscle. Work with your doctor to determine a healthy weight and how you can reach it through a balanced diet and exercise.
2. Stay Active
Aerobic exercise, such as walking or running, increases oxygen within the blood and strengthens the heart. Regular fitness can also help lower your blood pressure and cholesterol levels to reduce your risk of heart disease. Adults should engage in at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise a week.
3. Eat Heart-Healthy Foods
There are many foods that can promote health and wellness by lowering cholesterol and blood pressure levels. Some common examples include nuts, fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids, broccoli, spinach, and oatmeal.
4. Avoid Alcohol & Smoking
Drinking alcohol and smoking cigarettes are some of the worst things you can do for your heart. Alcohol increases heart disease risk and causes irregular heart rhythms. Smoking, on the other hand, can damage and clog your arteries, raising your risk of stroke or heart attack.
5. Visit Your Doctor for Regular Checkups
While there are many things you can do to promote a healthier heart, some conditions are outside of your control. That’s why it’s critical to see your doctor on a regular basis for checkups. Your family medicine provider can listen to the heart and look for signs of heart disease and other cardiovascular issues. Through early detection, you can take steps to reduce risk and improve existing conditions through proper treatment.
If you want to learn more about the state of your heart health — and the ways you can improve it — Jarvis Family Medical Services has the knowledge and resources to help. Visit their website to learn more about their health and wellness programs in Louisville, KY, or call (502) 822-3659 to schedule an appointment with a family medicine specialist.