Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women, with approximately 715,000 Americans having heart attacks every year, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
Although it's frightening to think that one out of four people die of heart complications, heart disease is controllable, and preventable when we take steps each day to bring ourselves closer to being heart healthy.
The main things to remember include:
Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables and eating foods that are low in saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol, but high in fiber.
- MAINTAINING A HEALTHY WEIGHT
Determine your BMI by going to a health professional or your doctor. Being obese or overweight increases your risk for heart disease.
- MONITORING YOUR BLOOD PRESSURE
High blood pressure often has no symptoms, so be sure to check it on a regular basis. Buying a pressure cuff for home use, or stopping by a pharmacy or doctors office can help you keep track of your blood pressure.
The Surgeon General recommends that adults should engage in some type of physical activity at least 30 minutes daily, for most of the week.
- DON'T SMOKE OR QUIT SMOKING
Cigarette smoking greatly increases your risk for heart disease. If you don't smoke, do yourself and everyone else a favor, and don't start. If you do smoke, quit as soon as possible. Doctors can help you find tools that will assist you in your efforts. Ask them what they think is right for you.
- LIMIT ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION
Alcohol increases your blood pressure. Men should have no more than two drinks per day...women no more than one.
Check your cholesterol once every five years. Talk to your Doctor about getting this simple blood test.
If you are a diabetic, you should monitor your blood sugar levels closely, and talk to your Doctor about treatment options.
If you are already taking medications for any of the above mentioned issues, make sure to follow your Doctors instructions carefully, and don't forget to ask questions if you don't understand how to take your medication.
For more information on preventing Heart disease, go to: