How to look after your heart

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While there are many things to look after in your body, the heart should be at the forefront of your thoughts. Given that heart disease is recognized as the biggest cause of death, and heart problems can seriously impact on your life and ability to do everyday things, it is important that people understand the importance of a healthy heart.

There are a number of common health issues related to the heart. Heart failure, where the heart is unable to pump blood properly through the body, is a big concern for many people, and this is commonly the result of coronary heart disease. This happens when the arteries narrow and harden, which usually occurs due to plaque or cholesterol. Sufferers of this condition will often find that they experience a shortage of breath, while the most apparent symptom of this condition is a heart attack.

Some notable statistics relating to heart disease can be seen below:

  • Heart disease is recognized as the main cause of death in men and women.
  • In 2015, it is believed that 17.7 million people died from a cardiovascular disease (CVD) – representing more than 30% of all deaths in the world.
  • Over 42 million women in the US have some type of cardiovascular disease.
  • Over 8 million women in the US have suffered from a heart attack or angina.

These statistics come from sources such as the World Healthcare Organization, WomenHeart, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

It is therefore easy to see why so many people are keen to improve their health and reduce their risk of heart disease. Here are some common tips that can help people to reduce their risk of a heart disease.

Be more active

This is a very common tip when it comes to improving your health, but there is a great deal to be said for being more active to reduce your risk of developing heart problems. Physical activity can help you to look better, feel more confident, reduce stress, and boost your mood, but for most people, the health benefits of an active lifestyle are the most important benefits. Undertaking 150 minutes of a moderate aerobic or cardio activity a week can strengthen your heart and leave you less at risk of heart issues.

Be mindful of smoking and alcohol

There are many issues associated with tobacco and alcohol, but if you are looking to reduce the likelihood of suffering heart problems, you should look to quit smoking and reduce the amount of alcohol that you drink. Smoking is well known as a large cause of coronary heart disease, and people who stop smoking for one year find that their risk of suffering heart attacks falls to half of the level of someone who smokes.

Consider your diet

Given that being overweight increases the risk of heart disease, it makes sense to manage your weight in an effective manner. This can be undertaken alongside being more active, but special attention should be made on eating more fiber and consuming fewer saturated fats. Consuming 30g a day of fiber should help to lower your risk of heart disease. Adding more fruit and vegetables to your diet will also be of benefit.

Know your family tree

Some people are at greater risk of heart disease due to a history of heart problems in their family. It is therefore important for people to be aware of any known issues in their lineage and to tailor their activities and lifestyle to counter any increased risks of heart disease.

Go and see a medical specialist

It is always best to be proactive when it comes to caring for your health, and this is why you should undergo regular check-ups. Meeting with medical specialists on a regular basis can help to minimize the risk and danger of heart issues developing. A good tip for people to follow is to get regular blood tests and have an expert review these tests. It makes sense to find a reputable test center in your local area, and if you are looking around Santa Rosa, you will find that there are dependable blood test labs.

Given the serious impact that heart issues can have on people’s lives, it is vital that you familiarize yourself with these conditions and give yourself the best chance of managing your risk. When it comes to remaining healthy, it is vital that people are proactive, giving themselves the best chance of enjoying a healthy life for many years to come.

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