Healthy Hearts: Lowering Your Risk For Heart Disease

imagesEvery year, around 600,000 people die from heart disease and the estimated costs from heart disease exceed $100 billion on a yearly basis. As more statistics about obesity become clear, those in the healthcare sector and the government are turning their focus to ways to educate and prevent heart disease. This article includes several tips for how to be heart healthy year-round.

Be Aware

There are specific risk factors associated with a higher likelihood of heart disease, including high cholesterol, diabetes, smoking, and high blood pressure. If these run in your family or if you have developed one or more of these, you need to be especially aware of your heart health and communicate your concerns to your doctor. Some of these may be out of your control, but there are ways you can structure the rest of your life in order to be heart healthy.

Change Your Eating Habits

One simple way to infuse your life with healthy habits that will lower your risk for heart disease is to become more conscious about what you’re eating. Fruits and vegetable intake can be increased for better nutrition as well. Incorporating low-fat dairy and fiber-rich foods are critical for lifelong health and lower risk for heart disease.¬† Since higher sodium foods are linked to high blood pressure rates (and remember from above that high blood pressure itself is a risk factor for heart disease), it’s best to remove sodium from your diet as much as possible. You’ll also feel healthier and less bloated, and you’ll find over time that you don’t crave the high levels of salt you were consuming in the past, anyways.

Fit Exercise In

When it comes to exercise, it’s hard to fit that in to busy work schedules. Simply allocating thirty minutes a day several times¬† a week can make a dramatic difference in your heart disease risk and in your waistline. You don’t have to commit to heavy lifting, either. Start out small with an exercise you enjoy, such as walking your dog or swimming with your kids. Before you know it you’ll be feeling better and handling stress more effectively. There’s no hard rules about how you exercise. Simply commit to doing some of it in your life on a daily basis.

It’s estimated that 80% of deaths from heart disease could have been prevented with awareness and early understanding about how to be heart healthy. As you can see, it’s easy to put good habits into your life for long-term health.

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