Cardiovascular diseases contribute to over 17.5 million around the world deaths each year. There are some risk factors you cannot control, but there are many that you can control. There are some key heart disease prevention steps which can reduce your risk.
What are the heart disease risk factors that I cannot change?
- Age. The risk of heart disease increases with age. Men with age group 45 and above and women aged 55 and older have a higher risk.
- Gender. Some risk factors may affect differently in women when compared to men. For example, estrogen in women provides some protection against heart disease, but diabetes increases the risk of heart disease more in women than in men.
- Family history. Risk is greater if a close family member had heart disease at an early age.
What are the steps that reduce the risk of heart disease?
- Check your blood pressure. High blood pressure can also cause heart disease. It is important to control your blood pressure and get it checked regularly.
- Get moving. Obesity also is related to other heart disease risk factors, such as high blood cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, and diabetes. Keeping your weight in check can lower these risks. It is recommended taking 10,000 steps in addition to exercising for 30 minutes a day.
- Eat a plant-and fish-based diet. If we can focus our diets on fresh whole foods like vegetables, fruits, nuts, whole grains, beans and fish, we’ll dramatically reduce the salt in our diets and we’ll definitely lose weight.
- Eliminate processed foods and sugar. Processed foods are packed with salt, sugar, and unhealthy fats. Higher level of sugar in blood can damage the arteries. This happens with prediabetes as well as diabetes. It is advisable to consult doctor to control the blood sugar levels which lower the chance of having a heart attack or stroke.
- Make sure that you get enough sleep: People who don't get enough sleep have a higher risk of obesity, high blood pressure, heart attack, diabetes and depression.
Besides the above mentioned points, other factors you should take care of are:
- Maintain a wellness mindset
- Manage stress
- Limit alcohol
- Don't smoke or use tobacco
- Get regular health screenings
In case you have got one or more propensities that are working against you, now is the time to set a course for way better wellbeing. Little changes in diet, work out, or weight can make an enormous difference in your health. Here are some of those strategies that will help you:
- Set goals
- Track your progress
- Get support