Heart health is something everyone should be aware of, as heart disease is a leading cause of death for men and women in the United States. Fortunately, patients can limit their risks of heart disease with some simple preventive care strategies and healthy life choices. Here are a few practical ways to protect your heart health and overall well-being.
7 Preventive Care Tips for a Healthy Heart
1. Exercise Regularly
Exercises such as walking, gardening, and bicycling increase heart rate, making the muscle stronger in the long run. Before engaging in any new activity, however, you should consult with your doctor to see how much exercise is safe for your heart and current physical fitness level. As a general rule, aim for at least 30 minutes of physical activity each day.
2. Quit Smoking
Smoking leads to a variety of health complications. In particular, smoking is notorious for causing certain types of cancer, stroke, and heart disease. Moreover, smokers’ hearts have to work harder to pump blood through arteries which have become hardened with plaque. If you haven’t already done so, consult with your physician to develop a plan to quit smoking.
3. Eat Healthy
Eating habits play a major role in a person’s heart health. To keep your arteries healthy and prevent excess stress on your heart, avoid or minimize consumption of foods that are high in saturated fats, such as processed foods, red meat, and fast food. Fill your plate with a variety of vegetables, lean protein, and whole grains instead.
4. Control High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure can damage organs and arteries, creating scar tissue. This can become a trap for plaque buildup, leading to blood clots and cardiovascular events. Have your blood pressure checked regularly to ensure you’re in a healthy range. While a low-salt diet and regular exercise can help control blood pressure, some patients may also need medications.
5. Regulate Cholesterol
Cholesterol is a waxy substance the body needs to build cells, but too much “bad” cholesterol can build up in the walls of the arteries that feed the heart. Over time, this could contribute to heart disease or stroke. Typically, cholesterol can be managed with diet and exercise, but your doctor may also prescribe medication. A blood test can provide results for cholesterol levels.
If you’re concerned about your heart health, turn to the medical professionals at Santiam Hospital. In addition to the hospital itself, this clinical group also features various locations throughout the Mid-Willamette Valley, OR, area where specialists and family doctors provide outstanding preventive care for patients with varying individual needs. From cardiologists to general physicians, their elite team of medical professionals provides quality services to promote heart and overall health. Find a location by visiting their website or call (503) 749-4734 to schedule an appointment today.