It is never too early to start taking care of your heart. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States, but maintaining a healthy, heart-friendly lifestyle can prevent heart disease and lower the risk of heart attack and stroke.
A healthy heart is necessary for overall good health. It is the center of the cardiovascular system and is responsible for life-sustaining processes like the transportation of oxygen and the removal of toxins and waste from the blood. Heart disease happens when the arteries supplying blood to the heart muscle become blocked, causing chest pains or heart attacks. High cholesterol, high blood pressure, an unhealthy diet and lack of physical activity are all risk factors for heart disease.
Anyone can get heart disease, but maintaining a healthy lifestyle can lower your risk of contracting heart issues. Here are some ways to make sure you are taking care of your heart:
Keep a Heart-Healthy Diet
Maintaining a healthy, heart-friendly diet can help lower your risk of cardiac problems. Diets that are high in saturated fats, trans fat and cholesterol have been linked to heart disease and other cardiac problems. Likewise, too much sodium (salt) in a diet can raise blood pressure.
Foods in a heart-healthy diet are low in saturated fat, added sugars and salt. Foods that are high in fiber like whole-grains, fruits and vegetables are all excellent inclusions to a heart-healthy diet. Certain fats, like those in olive oil and fish, are good for the heart too.
High blood pressure and obesity are both major risk factors for heart disease. However, regular physical activity can help both in maintaining a healthy weight and lowering blood pressure as well as blood cholesterol and blood sugar levels.
The recommended amount of physical activity for adults is two hours and 30 minutes a week of moderate-intensity exercise, like brisk walking or cycling. Children and teenagers are recommended to have one hour of physical activity daily.
Schedule a Check-Up
It’s never a bad idea to get a healthy heart check-up with your doctor so they can assess your blood pressure and cholesterol levels. If you are concerned about cardiac issues, it is important to speak to your doctor about managing risk factors and improving heart health.
Baylor Scott & White Health in Plano has a team of cardiologists, surgeons and interventional radiologists that is committed to providing quality care for a range of vascular conditions. They offer a comprehensive heart and vascular care program that includes heart disease prevention, advanced diagnosis and treatment options as well as care and support for patients living with cardiac conditions. With services including cardiac rehabilitation, vascular care and others, Baylor Scott & White Health in Plano is fully equipped to help you maintain your cardiac health.