Ways to Protect Your Heart Health
Your heart is one of your body’s most important organs — and yet heart disease is the leading cause of death for men, women, and people of most racial and ethnic groups in the United States. According to the CDC, someone in the U.S. has a heart attack every 40 seconds.
Protecting yourself from a medical emergency that could be potentially life-threatening is extremely important, and these tips can help you keep your heart in the best shape possible.
Learn Your Family History
Family history of cardiovascular disease (CVD) plays an integral part of managing your heart health. Siblings of patients with CVD have about a 40% risk increase, while offspring of parents with premature CVD have a 60% to 75% risk increase.
- Having diabetes.
- Being overweight.
- Excessive eating and drinking.
- Avoiding symptoms until an emergency happens.
- Skipping medications.
- Higher presence of communicable respiratory diseases.
Follow a Healthy Lifestyle Plan
From improving your diet to adding more movement to your routine — living a healthy lifestyle is vital when it comes to protecting one of your body’s most important organs.
Here are some ways to help adjust your lifestyle to support your cardiac health:
Form a Workout Routine You Like
Getting your heart pumping through regular exercise can lower the risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure — so finding what works for you is essential. According to the American Heart Association, adults should get at least 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes per week of vigorous aerobic activity, or a combination of both preferably spread throughout the week.
Maybe that means trying some new workouts such as pilates, weight lifting, yoga, or hiking — whatever helps you feel good and feel the burn!
Note: It’s important to not overdo or overexert your workouts — especially if you have a history of a heart condition. Speak to your doctor to go over your specific condition to see what type of exercise you’re cleared for.
Visit Your Doctor Regularly
Whether you have existing chronic conditions or not — it’s essential to visit your doctor regularly. Be sure to schedule your annual physical at the beginning of the year, so you’ll never forget to book it! Additionally, you should remember to schedule follow-up appointments with your cardiologist and other specialists so you can be sure any existing heart conditions are monitored.
Avoid Harmful Habits
Habits like smoking and excessive drinking can lead to heart disease, while a sedentary lifestyle can lead to venous issues associated with blood clots. To protect your heart health, limit these harmful habits as much as possible.
Improve Your Diet
Processed meats, saturated fats, and high amounts of sugar and sodium are all bad for your heart health. If keeping your ticker in tip-top shape is your priority, start by improving your diet and including heart-healthy options.
The key to making healthy changes is to choose whole foods and consistently add them into your diet — not subscribing to the newest fab diet. Instead, be sure to choose lean proteins, dark leafy greens, and fresh fruits. Some great options to add to your next shopping list include:
- Whole grains
- Olive oil
Control Your Cholesterol and Blood Pressure
Patients with high cholesterol have increased low-density lipoprotein (LDL) levels (or bad cholesterol), and are therefore at a higher rate of heart disease. High blood pressure, or hypertension, can damage your arteries and decrease the blood and oxygen flow to your heart.
To control your cholesterol and blood pressure, be sure to eat a diet that is low in salt, total fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol. You should also try to take brisk 10-minute walks, manage your weight, and get more sleep.
Stress can wreak havoc on your heart health, and lowering your stress levels can help to reduce your chances of heart disease or an emergency cardiac incident. Practicing deep breathing, yoga, and meditation are all ways to help you reduce stress and relax.
You may also want to pick up another relaxing hobby, such as painting, reading, or crafting. Anything that eases your mind and reduces stress!
Understand Your Risks of a Blood Clot
Also known as a thrombus, a blood clot is a clump of blood that has changed from a liquid to a gel-like or semisolid state. Though clotting is necessary to prevent you from losing too much blood in certain instances, a clot inside one of your veins won't always dissolve on its own.
Additionally, deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a serious medical condition when a blood clot forms inside a deep vein, typically located on the lower leg or thigh. This condition can happen to any patient at any age and can lead to other severe illnesses, such as pulmonary embolism (sudden blockage in a lung artery) if left untreated.
Emergency Cardiac Care in Dallas
Day or night, the staff at Advance ER is standing by to provide the highest quality cardiac care — from routine scans to emergency treatment. We have the same services found in hospital emergency rooms and meet or exceed all emergency room requirements.
Dial 911 and visit either of our locations today if you are experiencing a medical emergency or contact us online if you have questions about treatment.