Lifestyle changes to lower heart disease risk
Oct 26, · 1. Don't smoke or use tobacco. One of the best things you can do for your heart is to stop smoking or using smokeless 2. Get moving: Aim for at least 30 to 60 minutes of activity daily. Regular, daily physical activity can lower your risk 3. Eat a heart-healthy diet. A healthy diet can help. Nov 17, · To reduce your risk of heart disease, limit high-fat and high-sugar foods such as potato chips and store-bought desserts. Highly processed .
You may know exercise is good for the heart, but did you know that lack of exercise is one of the risk factors for developing heart disease? Several years ago, the American Heart Association added inactivity to its list of risk factors, which also includes family history, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and obesity.
In honor of American Heart Monthtry to include at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity, such as walking or gardening, on most days of the week.
And, of course, check with your doctor before starting a new exercise program. Also be sure to check out our heart attack calculator to assess your risk.
Stay connected with us to get the latest health and fitness news, innovative workouts, healthy recipes and wellness tips. Limited time! Get certified. Save now. Disease Considerations. Filter By Category. View All Categories. Cardiovascular exercise improves blood circulation, which may help reduce the risk of developing clots or blockages in the arteries.
Like the muscles of the body, the heart is a muscle, and regular exercise helps keep it toned and strong. As the heart becomes stronger, the heart rate lowers because fewer beats are required to pump the same amount of blood. Exercise can help reduce or prevent high blood pressure in some people.
Exercise reduces the risk of developing diabetes, which is a risk factor for heart disease. People who exercise are less likely to smoke. In fact, smokers who are fit may have a lower risk of heart disease than nonsmokers who are sedentary.
People who exercise tend to have healthier diets. Being active often compels people to make other positive lifestyle changes, such as eating less fat and more fiber. Along with a healthy diet, exercise can aid in weight control.
Being overweight or obese has been linked to numerous diseases, including diabetes, and regularly burning calories makes it easier to maintain a healthy weight. Exercise has been proven to help manage stress, which can take its toll on the whole body, but especially the heart. People who exercise tend to be less depressed and posses a more positive outlook. Exercise strengthens muscles and improves mobility, which makes it easier to perform activities of daily living.
The easier these activities are, the more active one is likely to be overall. Buy Now. Get in the Know Stay connected with us to get the latest health and fitness news, innovative workouts, healthy recipes and wellness tips. Enter your email. I'd like to receive the latest news and updates from ACE.
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Nov 02, · Olive oil is the main source of dietary fat. Eating foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, trout, tuna, herring, and mackerel, also helps to reduce heart disease risk. How can I reduce my risk for diabetes? Diabetes is a major risk factor for heart disease. Aug 13, · Here's how these changes stack up: 36 percent risk reduction attributed to not smoking. 18 percent reduction for eating a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, reduced-fat dairy products, whole grains and fish. 12 percent reduction for maintaining a waistline of 37 inches or less (for men). Coronary heart disease risk factors. The most common form of heart disease is known as coronary heart disease. There are certain things that increase your risk of developing heart disease. These are called risk factors. Heart disease and stroke are sometimes put together using the term 'cardiovascular disease' (CVD). As the risk factors for.
Heart health starts at home -- here's how to reduce your chances of developing heart disease with everyday habits. Heart disease is the No. It accounts for about one in four deaths in the US each year. Someone has a heart attack every 40 seconds in the US. These statistics are scary, but science tells us exactly how to turn them around. We have a wealth of information about heart disease prevention at our fingertips.
Yet, case numbers remain high. Preventing heart disease is, in all honesty, easy for people who don't have preexisting heart conditions. There are challenges, of course: Some people don't have access to heart-healthy foods and others don't have the opportunity to see a doctor and get insights about their current health status.
For the most part, however, the average person can significantly reduce their risk of heart disease with simple lifestyle changes, like the nine steps detailed here. Decades of research support cardiovascular exercise as a first defense against heart disease. Walking is an easy, simple way to get cardio exercise in, and you can do it pretty much anywhere outdoors or indoors with a treadmill.
Studies show that walking can prevent heart disease risk despite being a less intense modality than other forms of cardio exercise, such as hiking, jogging or cycling. Plus, research suggests that more people stick to a walking plan over time versus other types of exercise, which makes walking more effective in the long run no exercise is effective if you don't keep it up.
And you can always make your walk harder if you want to improve your health even further. Related : The best treadmills you can buy right now. Most research on heart health and exercise has focused on aerobic exercise like walking.
An emerging body of research points to resistance training as another way to reduce your risk of heart disease. According to Johns Hopkins Medicine , this profound effect probably has something to do with the way weightlifting changes your body composition.
Lifting weights helps you build muscle and lose fat. Excess body fat is a major risk factor for heart disease , so any exercise that helps you reduce body fat is helpful.
You don't need a gym or fancy equipment to start strength training. Bodyweight exercises , such as air squats, push-ups and lunges, provide the same strengthening benefits at home. Many delicious foods have a direct link to improved heart health. In general, a diet rich in whole grains, fruit, vegetables, lean protein and healthy fats from nuts, seeds, fish and oils promotes heart health.
If you don't have access to fresh produce, frozen and canned fruits and veggies work just as well just be mindful of salt intake when eating canned foods. The American Heart Association points out the importance of balancing your calorie intake and energy expenditure.
Eating healthy is a big part of improving heart health, but so is maintaining a healthy body weight. On the flip side, several foods have direct links to heart disease. To reduce your risk of heart disease, limit high-fat and high-sugar foods such as potato chips and store-bought desserts. Highly processed foods, including most fast food, processed meats think hot dogs and cured meats and boxed snacks like Twinkies and crackers, also contain ingredients harmful to your heart.
Specifically, look out for trans fats hydrogenated oils and high-fructose corn syrup, two key indicators that a food isn't great for your heart. Trans fats increase "bad" cholesterol and triglycerides in your blood, while high-fructose corn syrup is a driver of several heart disease risk factors and comorbidities. Side note: Don't be afraid of saturated fat on its own, as research has debunked the myth that saturated fat alone leads to heart disease.
Many healthy foods, such as avocados and cheese, contain saturated fats. Processed foods are often high in saturated fat, but it's more so the trans fats and refined carbohydrates to look out for. Related: 8 ways eating too much sugar is bad for your health. It's common knowledge by now that smoking is just plain bad for health. Your heart is no exception. According to the Food and Drug Administration, cigarette smoking is a leading cause of cardiovascular disease , including heart attacks and strokes.
Smoking impairs your cardiovascular system in a few ways : It leads to plaque buildup in your arteries, changes your blood chemistry and thickens blood, and permanently damages your heart muscle and blood vessels.
The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute says that even an occasional cigarette can cause substantial damage. We're not here to tell you that you can't enjoy your favorite cocktail or crack a cold one on game day, but we'd be remiss if we didn't mention the consequences of excess alcohol consumption.
Drinking too much is generally bad for all your body systems. In regard to heart health specifically, alcohol has been linked to various cardiovascular diseases , including hypertension, coronary artery disease, peripheral artery disease and stroke.
However, the exact relationships vary greatly depending on the quantity and pattern of consumption. The American Heart Association maintains that drinking in moderation is OK , but once you inch past that mark one drink per day for women and two for men , things take a turn for the worse. And, no, the link between red wine and heart health isn't all that clear. More research is needed to understand exactly how stress contributes to heart disease, but scientists have observed a relationship between stress and heart health.
For starters, high levels of chronic stress can trigger unhealthy coping habits , such as smoking, drinking alcohol or eating lots of high-fat or high-sugar food. Stress also undermines your body's ability to rest and sleep. Researchers have even identified a specific and unusual sort of heart attack called takotsubo cardiomyopathy , also known as stress cardiomyopathy and "broken heart syndrome. So, don't underestimate the impact of stress on your heart. While stress is inevitable and unavoidable at times, it helps to have a handful of stress-relief tactics to rely on in times of extreme duress.
If there were a miracle drug, sleep would probably be it, with exercise coming in a close second. Scientists have positioned sleep deprivation as a risk factor for heart disease because of inverse relationships between sleep duration and cardiovascular diseases: It seems the less sleep you get, the higher your risk for cardiovascular events.
Insomnia and sleep apnea have also been linked to heart disease , and sleep duration and quality seem to have a direct effect on blood pressure. Indirectly, sleep deprivation causes people to make poorer food choices and lack motivation to exercise , both of which increase the risk for heart disease. Related: Why you should skip your workout if you didn't get a wink of sleep. Getting a blood panel that checks for cholesterol, triglycerides, blood sugar and other important health markers can help you keep close tabs on your heart health.
If you don't have a primary care doctor, call your nearest urgent care or walk-in clinic to see if it offers basic blood tests. At the very least, checking your blood pressure with an at-home monitor gives you some indication of how you're doing. Keep track of your health records so you can identify any changes or patterns over time. If any indication of heart disease arises, don't be afraid to ask your doctor any questions. Make sure you understand what the numbers mean, what changes you might need to make to your lifestyle, and if you'll need any medications.
Being an advocate for your own health gets you far. The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives. Be respectful, keep it civil and stay on topic. We delete comments that violate our policy , which we encourage you to read.
Discussion threads can be closed at any time at our discretion. How to reduce your risk for heart disease in 9 simple steps Heart health starts at home -- here's how to reduce your chances of developing heart disease with everyday habits. Amanda Capritto. Getty Images Heart disease is the No. Discuss: How to reduce your risk for heart disease in 9 simple steps.