Proverbs 4:23 (NIV) instructs us to do just this – “Guard your heart with all diligence; for it determines the path of your life”.
About 80% of premature heart disease and stroke can be avoided through healthy behaviors. Eating well, exercising regularly and not smoking are all vitally important steps to taking, while getting regular check-ups can detect early signs of cardiovascular issues.
- Know Your Risk Factors
Heart disease can result from various factors. One key step towards preventing it is understanding your risk factors – these may include lifestyle habits and traits which increase the chance of heart attack or stroke. Some risk factors cannot be changed such as age and sex but others such as smoking, obesity or high blood pressure or cholesterol levels may be reduced over time.
If you have risk factors for cardiovascular disease, be sure to speak to your physician to find ways of mitigating them. Your physician may suggest healthy eating and exercise regimens, stress management techniques or medications as ways of decreasing them. Cardiovascular disease affects all ages but increases with age, although its incidence varies by race and gender – for instance African American’s tend to experience higher rates of high blood pressure than whites while men are more prone to suffering a heart attack than their female counterparts.
- Exercise Regularly
Physical activity has multiple beneficial effects on your body. Some of these changes include weight loss and decreased blood pressure and cholesterol, all which help prevent cardiovascular disease.
A heart relies on oxygen and nutrients to function efficiently, but these materials cannot make their way through if plaque builds up in its blood vessels that deliver these essential supplies. A blockage like this may result in symptoms like chest pain, heavy or pressure sensations and dizziness associated with heart attack attacks.
Regular cardiovascular-based exercise may lower your risk of heart attack by keeping arteries flexible and improving blood flow – helping keep cholesterol levels down in turn. Studies indicate that most individuals can reap benefits from 150 minutes or more of moderate or vigorous physical activity each week; talk to your physician first before beginning an exercise regimen.
- Eat a Healthy Diet
An optimal heart-healthy eating pattern includes foods low in sodium (salt), added sugars and saturated fat, such as whole grains, fruits and vegetables, low-fat dairy products, legumes (like beans and lentils), as well as nuts seeds avocados and olives as healthy sources of healthy fats.
Eating a diet rich in a variety of essential nutrients is one of the best ways to protect against cardiovascular risk factors and achieve good health. Eating well helps maintain a healthy weight, lower stress levels and avoid high blood pressure or cholesterol levels that could otherwise result from poor health choices.
As part of a healthy diet, it’s essential to enjoy occasional indulgences like dessert. But most of your food should consist of nutritious items – read labels carefully and choose items with low salt, added sugars and saturated fat content. If you need assistance making wise decisions, consult with an Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD).
- Avoid Smoking
Smoking – including secondhand smoke exposure and electronic cigarettes – damages both your heart and blood vessels, leading to narrowed and hardened arteries that restrict oxygen delivery to organs such as your heart. Smoking also raises LDL or “bad” cholesterol levels as well as blood fat triglycerides levels, increasing your risk for atherosclerosis or waxy plaque build-up in arteries (atherosclerosis).
If your lifestyle risk factors include high blood pressure or cholesterol levels, quitting smoking could help to stave off heart disease. But in order to make this successful for yourself and with support from medical providers as needed – strategies specific to you need to be found, as well as regular checks-ups with them for checkups and screening tests.
- Get Regular Checkups
Heart disease is a serious threat that must be taken seriously. One effective strategy for mitigating its risk is scheduling regular health screenings from as young as age 20; additionally, seeing a cardiologist may help.
Your heart provides vital oxygen and nutrition to every other part of your body. When its performance falters, however, this can have devastating repercussions for all aspects of health – leading to symptoms like fatigue and dizziness in you as well as those around you.
There are various forms of cardiovascular disease, from narrowed blood vessels due to fatty deposits (coronary artery disease), the constant tightening and relaxing of the heart muscle (cardiomyopathy), as well as issues affecting its fluid-filled sac (pericardium). Regular screening can detect these problems before they lead to heart attacks or other cardiovascular ailments.