A healthy heart is critical for general well-being. At any age, adopting a healthy lifestyle can help prevent heart disease and reduce your chance of having a heart attack or stroke. You can never be too old or too young to start taking care of your cardiovascular system. True, the earlier you begin making healthy choices, the longer the benefits will last. However, substituting healthy habits for unhealthy ones to boost overall health can make a difference, even if you’ve already had a heart attack. Choosing healthy diets and exercising regularly are two of the most effective methods to promote heart health. There are several additional ways to reduce your risk of heart disease. Several factors contribute to an increased risk of heart disease, including the following:
- Absence of activity (no exercise).
- Cardiovascular disease runs in the family (especially a parent or sibling).
The good news is that you can reduce your risk by altering your lifestyle. Even if you have a family history of heart disease, you have the advantage of prevention.
The road to better health
Numerous factors affecting your heart health are entirely within your control. It is entirely up to you how seriously you take this obligation. A healthy lifestyle comes naturally to some people. Others will only do so if they have been identified with a heart disease symptom, such as high blood pressure or cholesterol levels. Keep in mind that the benefits of a healthy heart are well worth the effort, no matter what your motive is. Indeed, your entire body will benefit. Additionally, good overall health can help you avoid developing type 2 diabetes, asthma, joint discomfort, and various other chronic diseases and ailments. It may even help lower your risk of developing cancer. Additionally, a healthy lifestyle that includes consuming nutritious meals and engaging in regular physical activity has improved mood. You’ll have more energy and experience less stress as a result. If you’re unsure where to begin, focus on one healthy part of your life for the time being. As you feel more in control, add another, and then another. Soon, you’ll begin to feel powerful rather than overwhelmed.
Cardiovascular illness affects your mental health.
Another reason to be concerned about your heart health is that it affects your mental health. According to a recent poll performed by the British Heart Foundation’s Heart Matters Magazine, 68% of persons with heart disease reported that their condition had impacted their mental, emotional, or psychological well-being. This influence on mental health is primarily due to worry and anxiety associated with suffering a heart attack, stroke, or cardiac arrest and the impact those occurrences might have on loved ones. Many persons with cardiac issues are concerned about supporting their children or spouse. What’s more troubling is that 67 percent of those whose mental health had been negatively impacted by heart disease stated that they had not spoken to anybody about it. Not only is it critical to maintain good health to avoid a medical emergency, but it also helps reduce the risk of feeling the emotional and mental toll associated with a diagnosis.
Cardiovascular disease is largely preventable but not curable.
Bear in mind that 80 percent of strokes and heart disease are preventable, even though heart disease is the leading cause of death among people in the United States. While it is possible to live with heart disease and frequently avoid more damage, there is no cure. Once plaque begins to accumulate in your arteries, for example, it will not resolve on its own through diet and lifestyle changes. In severe cases, a doctor may prescribe surgical removal of the plaque, although the primary goal is to prevent additional buildup. Along with a balanced diet and frequent exercise, monitoring your body is critical for prevention. Maintaining regular checkups and communication with your primary care physician is vital, and if you have any risk factors for cardiovascular disease, getting checked could save your life. Non-invasive and short screenings can determine whether or not you have plaque accumulation in your arteries or detect indicators of atrial fibrillation (an abnormal heartbeat) and other cardiac problems.
How can I improve my heart’s health?
You can protect your heart and lower your risk of acquiring life-threatening illnesses by making wiser lifestyle choices. Making these modest changes can have a significant influence on your heart’s health and overall well-being:
Adhere to a heart-healthy diet.
According to the Heart Foundation, by eating more nutritious meals and avoiding bad fats, you can fuel a healthy heart, lower your blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and maintain weight. Consume more fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats, and moderate your intake of salt and alcohol.
Regular exercise has a significant positive effect on your mental and physical health. As the CDC suggests, get 150 minutes of physical activity per week.
Avoid smoking — and stop smoking if you are a smoker.
While smoking is a significant risk factor for cardiovascular disease, secondhand smoke is a close second. According to research, simply breathing tobacco greatly raises your risk of coronary artery calcification. Consult your physician about quitting smoking if you are a smoker. If you are not, avoid smokers at all costs.
Consult your physician at least once a year, if not more frequently.
By visiting your physician regularly, you can take a proactive approach to heart health. Your physician can monitor your blood pressure and cholesterol levels, as well as your mental health, and can offer advice on how to lower your chance of getting dementia.