Cardiovascular Disease, which includes heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure, is the leading cause of death in the United States.
February is American Month - an opportunity for education on the causes of Cardiovascular Disease and steps one can take to improve their heart's health. Leading an overall healthy life and limiting your risks of CVD wherever possible is the best way to prevent Cardiovascular Disease. The following tips can help guide you in the right direction:
One of the biggest ways to combat Cardiovascular Disease is to improve your diet. Be sure to eat your recommended serving of fruits and vegetables, and consume junk food in moderation. Limit your intake of foods that are high in saturated fat, trans fat and cholesterol. Unhealthy eating habits can lead to weight gain, which in turn, can greatly increase your risk of Cardiovascular Disease.
Regular exercise keeps your heart in good health. If you need motivation, consider joining a gym or taking up a hobby that involves physical activity. If you are unable to exercise due to an injury or other circumstances, try to stay active any way you can (i.e. take the stairs instead of the elevator.
Limit Alcohol Consumption and Don't Smoke
If you drink alcohol, make sure to do so in moderation. Heavy alcohol consumption can lead to high blood pressure. Similarly, smoking is extremely detrimental to your health and increases your risk of Cardiovascular Disease. If you do smoke, take the necessary steps to quit.
Monitor your Health
If you or your family have a history of high blood pressure, make sure you constantly monitor it, either at home, or in a doctor's office. If you have diabetes, you should monitor your blood sugar levels as instructed by your physician. It is also a good idea to get your cholesterol checked every few years.
Take it Easy
Find healthy ways to let off some steam and manage your stress. Taking on too many activities at once can increase your risk of a heart attack. Realize that you may not be able to accomplish all that you wish to in a given day, so try not to overwhelm yourself. For more healthy living tips, be sure to regularly follow our blog!