Heart Disease in the United States
Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death both in the United States and across the globe. It is responsible for 1 out of every 4 deaths in the U.S.
There are a variety of conditions that could cause cardiovascular disease ranging from infections to genetic disorders. There are also significant risk factors that increase your chances of having heart disease. These risk factors include:
- High blood pressure.
- High cholesterol.
While heart disease is extremely common, it can be prevented. Various lifestyle choices have proven to help reduce your risk for heart disease. Try these steps to help keep your heart healthy:
Eat a Healthy Diet
When people hear the term ‘diet,’ they often assume they have to restrict what they eat to lose weight. However, the actual definition is simply the food and drink you regularly consume. The good news is that what you eat can influence a number of the above risk factors for heart disease!
By incorporating more fiber, healthy fats, and antioxidants in your everyday meals, you reduce your chance of getting heart disease. Avoid high amounts of sugar, processed meats, and other processed foods.
Before starting any diet, discuss your options with your doctor to make the right choice for your body. While several fad diets circulate the internet, it is important to ensure you do your research and choose one that is backed by science.
Being physically active is one of the critical components to maintaining a healthy heart. Whether it is aerobic exercise, yoga, strength training, or dancing around your living room — we can not stress enough the importance of moving your body!
Each form of exercise has different benefits, but it is also essential to make sure you are enjoying what you are doing to stay active. While aerobic exercise improves circulation, strength training creates leaner muscle mass.
Regardless of what exercise style works best for you, participating in physical activity will help strengthen your heart muscle and lower your cholesterol, blood sugar, and blood pressure.
When you smoke cigarettes, your blood becomes contaminated with the smoke’s chemicals. These chemicals cause damage to your heart and blood vessels, further leading to cardiovascular disease.
We know that quitting a nicotine and tobacco habit is difficult. However, according to the American Heart Association and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), stopping the smoking of cigarettes is one of the most important actions people can take to improve their overall health.
Take Care of Your Teeth
Did you know that recent research connects gum disease and heart disease? Studies have found that inflammation and bacteria in the gums may narrow important arteries, increasing your risk for cardiovascular disease.
Brushing your teeth regularly twice a day, for two minutes at a time, is vital to your oral health and heart health as well. Remember to schedule your bi-annual dentist appointments for your dental exams and speak with your dentist if you have any concerns. It could make a difference in your cardiovascular health as well.
Manage Your Stress
While stress may not directly impact your cardiovascular health, it is a significant contributor to heart disease. Stress can have a domino effect on your physical health. While trying to manage a stressful period in your life, you may toss your regular healthy habits to the side. Suddenly, you are eating unhealthy comfort food, not sleeping well, and neglecting exercise. Stress can also affect your mood, cause extreme fatigue, and result in inflammation in your body.
If you are feeling extreme amounts of stress, it is essential to remember to take care of yourself for both your physical and mental health. Seek help if necessary, go for walks, make healthy meals, get adequate amounts of sleep, and spend time with people you trust. Doing yoga is also a great form of exercise to help manage and reduce stress levels.
Monitoring Your Heart Health at PrimeHealth Asheville
The healthcare providers at PrimeHealth Asheville understand the importance of maintaining a healthy heart and cater to all of your cardiovascular concerns. In addition to the cardiological diagnostic lab work our office offers, our medical experts also closely monitor your blood pressure.
If you need assistance taking the steps toward optimizing your heart health, contact us online or call us at (828) 705-3520.