There are several things you can do to actively help prevent heart disease.
Worried about your heart health and want to take action? Even if you don’t think anything is wrong, it is never too soon to think about the choices we make to keep ourselves healthy. Here are 5 ways you can help prevent heart disease.
1. Talk with your doctor. Inform your doctor of your family medical history. It’s important for he or she to know about any genetic predisposition to heart disease. In addition, be sure to schedule regular wellness visits, follow-up appointments, preventative screenings and other tests that your doctor recommends.
2. Make wise dietary choices. The old adage – you are what you eat – rings true when it comes to heart disease. Extra pounds put you at risk, as does high cholesterol and/or high blood pressure, so eat heart-smart. Take note of serving sizes, watch what you drink, eat plenty of fruits and veggies, choose whole grains whenever possible, go with lean protein options, eat fish rich in Omega-3 fatty acids at least a couple of times each week, and opt for low-fat dairy products instead of the full-fat varieties.
3. Make exercise a priority. Regular exercise can help you maintain a healthy weight as well as keep cholesterol and blood pressure levels in check. The American Heart Association suggests getting at least a half hour of moderate intensity exercise at least five days each week.
4. Maintain good numbers. Be sure to have your cholesterol and blood pressure tested. Know your numbers, eat healthy, exercise and talk with your doctor about the possibility of taking medication if your numbers are still high.
5. Don’t smoke and avoid second-hand smoke. Cigarette smoke does damage to the heart and blood vessels. If you smoke, quit. Talk to your doctor about patches or other smoking cessation aids if necessary.
To learn more about heart health, talk with your doctor. If you need to find a doctor, use our online Find a Physician service or call our Physician Referral Line at 1-855-296-6265.