Small Steps to Prevent Heart Disease
Heart disease is a leading cause of death in the United States for both men and woman. Risk factors for heart disease include poor diet, smoking, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and inactivity. The following are some suggested small steps that you should take that can have a dramatic impact on your heart health.
Poor diet is a risk factor that can be significantly reduced and easily remedied by adding fruits and vegetables to your daily diet. The suggested total daily amount of fruits and vegetables you may need in your diet depends on your age, gender and your amount of daily physical activity. A 25 year old male that works-out 30 minutes a day should consume 2 cups of fruit and 3 cups of vegetables in their daily diet, while a 25 year old woman who works-out the same amount of time needs 2 cups of fruit but only 2.5 cups of vegetables a day. These amounts may not sound like much, but seriously ask yourself, are you taking the time and effort to add these essential nutritional items to your daily diet to help you prevent Heart Disease?
Years of habitual smoking present unquestionable health risks to the smoker and those subjected to their secondhand smoke. Quitting a smoking habit can be a difficult struggle for a long time or heavy smoker, but the health benefits and positive physical and mental changes for a person who has “beat the habit” are extreme. Your risk of heart disease and cancer can decrease dramatically after only a short time, and the longer you refrain from smoking the greater ability your body has to repair and refresh itself. The undeniable truth is you will live much longer and be far healthier throughout your life if you can kick the habit.
If you are a person living with diabetes, high blood pressure and/or high cholesterol, it is always important that you stay on top of your health issues. If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, high blood pressure and/or high cholesterol, take the time to visit with your doctor or health maintenance team to have your symptoms checked and closely monitored. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and explore the many options now available through modern health science to treat and control these disorders. Treating and controlling these conditions can reduce your risk of heart disease and improve your overall quality of life and help prevent heart disease.
It is important to stay active in your everyday life. Inactivity is a risk factor for heart disease and other health issues. Easy ways to stay active include, but are defiantly not limited to, walking instead of driving, use community bike paths, park farther away then you normally would from work or when you go to the store, and/or play outside with your pets, friends or kids. Take the steps instead of the elevator, and if you sit in an office all day make the effort to stand-up and move about for several minutes every hour. Turn a mundane task into an exercise opportunity, such as grocery shopping – don’t just hit the aisles where you know what you need is located, instead, walk up and down each and every aisle and turn the boring chore into much, much more! It is recommended that you get at lease 30 to 60 minutes of physical activity in a day, so for the sake of your heart and health, find ways to achieve this very modest goal.
Taking these small steps in your daily life can reduce your risk of heart disease and may dramatically increase your life expectancy and quality of living. So remember, eat right, don’t smoke, take care of yourself and stay active and you can be healthy inside and out.
Healthy Living Rochester offers a wide variety of healthy living tips and resources for the people of Olmsted County and Rochester Minnesota, including information on keeping your heart healthy.
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