Better Heart Health: Changes to Avoid Heart Disease
Heart disease is among the leading causes of death in men and women. About 735,000 people in the United States experience heart attacks annually and an estimate count of 610,000 Americans die due to heart diseases every year, which is one in every four deaths occurring in the country. People often get heart disease because of the buildup of plaque or fatty deposits that clog artery walls, prohibiting blood flow to the organs and tissues.
Early action is important to prevent a heart attack. But what people seldom fail to remember is that prevention is always better than cure. Why start later when we can create major changes in our day-to-day living to keep heart diseases at bay?
Check your weight.
Obesity is endemic in the States no matter which age bracket you belong to, and being overweight increases one’s chances of having a heart disease. Knowing your Body Mass Index (BMI) will help determine whether or not your body weight is normal for your age and height. Being aware of your BMI and checking your weight regularly are the first steps to committing to a heart-healthy lifestyle and diet. Once you’ve kept a record of your readings, tell your doctor about it so he or she can better assess your condition.
Monitor your blood pressure.
Just like the constant monitoring of one’s weight, individuals who are especially at risk for heart diseases need also to religiously monitor their blood pressure. Simply waiting for your next doctor’s checkup to have your blood pressure measured is not enough to truly monitor your condition.
Non-Invasive Blood Pressure (NIBP) instruments are out in the market to cater to all households. This device utilizes two different cuffs for determining various results such as diastolic, systolic, and mean blood pressure. With this, one important thing to consider is the quality of your NIBP cuffs. Also, there are different types of NIBP hose connectors to cater to the person’s specific needs. Do take note of the number of times your NIBP connectors can be used before disposing them. While these facts can be overwhelming, don’t hesitate to consult your doctor once you have purchased your own BP monitor, as he or she will be able to check the quality and effectiveness of your device.
Be physically active.
Studies show that involving one’s self in moderate to vigorous physical activities help reduce your risk of having heart diseases as this helps maintain a normal blood pressure and lower cholesterol levels. It also helps keep and maintain one’s weight at a normal level.
It is better to be active and to stay active especially starting at a young age. For starters, it’s beneficial to perform simple household chores such as dusting or gardening and eventually work up to at least 30 minutes of walking, moderate exercise, or aerobic physical activity. The key here is to be consistent in engaging to these kinds of activities no matter how varied.
Quit smoking and limit alcohol consumption.
Smoking cigarettes or using tobacco substantially increases the risk factors for developing a heart disease. The carbon monoxide in tobacco smoke reduces the amount of oxygen in your blood. This forces the heart to work harder to supply enough oxygen to the body, therefore, increasing blood pressure and heart rate. It also damages the lining of the arteries, which will lead to the buildup of fatty material that narrows the arteries. Moreover, excessive drinking of alcohol can also raise the blood pressure, increase weight, and cause serious health problems concerning the liver, ulcer and the heart among other things.
Tame your stress.
People tend to cope with stress in detrimental ways—overeating, overthinking, smoking, drinking, and falling low on sleep. This takes a toll on our heart’s health over the long run. Managing stress and keeping it at a minimum will greatly reduce the risk of developing heart diseases.
It’s hard to change a habit; after all, it has already become part of our system. But thinking about the negative impact it might cause your health in the long run might bring a strong motivation to replace it with a newer, much healthier one. Give your heart a break and get these changes started as soon as you can.