Before the COVID-19 pandemic, heart disease was the #1 health issue to kill men and women in the United States every year. Although the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus has nearly taken this spot, heart disease hasn’t gone away. Lack of access to healthcare professionals over the last year has made the risk of death from heart disease even higher.
It’s more important than ever that you pay attention to your overall health and prioritize living a heart-healthy life. Outside of genetics and family history that influence whether you’re at higher risk than others for heart disease, how you live your life has the most significant impact on heart health.
Start today by following these simple steps:
Focus on Fitness
Your heart pumps oxygenated blood throughout your body to other organs. Modern life, which forces many people to behave in passive rather than active ways, has caused the loss of heart benefits from regular physical activity. Sedentary life has also caused more weight gain problems that place extra strain on the body. Cardiovascular and other types of exercise can help reverse these issues.
Manage Blood Pressure
When your blood pressure rises too much, it can damage your blood vessels and organs and even result in a heart attack or stroke. To prevent high blood pressure, make lifestyle changes that medical professionals have found to reduce heart disease risk. For example, eat less salt since it can rapidly increase blood pressure. Additionally, manage stress since it raises blood pressure and puts a strain on other areas of the body, including the brain and immune system.
Stop Smoking Entirely
Smoking not only impacts blood pressure, but the chemicals released into your body when you smoke can make your heartbeat too fast. Your heart then has to work harder to pump blood, which can cause multi-organ damage and, eventually, failure. Smoking also increases the risk of blood clots.
Improve Your Sleep Cycle
When you don’t get enough sleep, your body fails to provide you with the full healing benefits associated with a good night’s rest. Optimal levels of sleep differ by age and individual, but adults typically need at least seven hours of sleep per night. If you’re having difficulty falling asleep, review your evening and nighttime habits. For example, blue light and brain-intensive activities related to the use of cellphones, laptops, tablets, and televisions have been found to keep people awake long after their service. Turn these devices off at least three hours before bedtime.
Go to Checkups
Lastly, you need to know the state of your current health at all times to create the best plan to protect your heart. Do you have a family history of heart disease or high blood pressure? If you don’t know, it’s time to find out. Your primary care physician can check your heart rate and blood pressure to ensure that these readings are not too high or low. They can also check for high cholesterol, essential since cholesterol-related fat deposits in blood vessels block blood flow and make your heart work harder. Other tests performed during a checkup can detect blood clots and vessel problems.
With even more state-of-the-art facilities, cutting-edge technologies, and top professionals coming shortly, we believe we can help everyone live healthier lives. Yet, we know that a higher quality of life requires that patients invest time in their health, which is why we offer informative reminders like this one.