Heart disease is the direct cause of death for more than 600,000 people each year. It’s an equal opportunity killer, affecting both men and women across all cultural and ethnic groups. Making lifestyle changes can help you strengthen your heart and improve overall health, making it easier for your heart to do its job daily.
At Indus Cardiology, with offices located in Pomona, West Covina, and Montclair, California, Dr. Yogesh Paliwal provides preventative cardiology care, and works with you to create a plan to help you take care of your heart.
Risk factors for heart disease
Many common risk factors for poor heart health can be pushed back against by making lifestyle changes. You’re more at risk for poor heart health if you struggle with any of the following:
- Low activity levels
- Improper nutrition
4 steps to better heart health
Ready to boost your heart health? Start with these four tips:
1. Change your diet
A heart-healthy diet starts with having days free from red meat like beef and pork. Add lean meats in small portion, giving chicken and turkey a place on your weekly menu, and fill in the gaps with heart-healthy proteins from legumes, eggs, and dairy.
Cut out processed fats like shortening and margarine, and switch to natural products like lard and butter, in moderation. Healthy oils like olive oil are great for cooking, and you can get creative with fish, nuts, and avocados for more high-quality fat in your diet.
2. Move around
The word exercise scares a lot of people, but activity can be as simple as walking for a half hour after dinner every day. Alternately, buy a couple of fun dance videos and jam out after breakfast before you start your day. Do stretches for flexibility, and use common household items for strength training.
Your whole body will improve in tone, and you’ll be able to control your weight, so your heart doesn’t have to work so hard. Even just 15 minutes a day of low-impact aerobic activity makes a difference.
3. Give up vices
Smokers are 70% more likely to develop heart disease than non-smokers. For the sake of your heart, drop the smoking habit. It’s fine to stop slowly, if cold turkey isn’t working, Just smoke a few less cigarettes every day and week until you’ve dropped your consumption to near zero, then find a way to replace those last few cigs with something else that provides gratification.
If you drink a lot, consider moderating alcohol use as well. A drink after dinner won’t hurt, but more than one drink a day can harm your heart health, so save the cork from that bottle so you can finish it at a later date.
4. Chill out
Stress can put a strain on your heart, and when you combine stress with hypertension, you’ve got a recipe for a potential heart attack. A home cuff or pharmacy machine can make it easy for you to take your blood pressure at different times, and identify when it’s high. Then you can work on reducing triggers or get medication if you need it.
Ready to get serious about your heart-health? Call our location nearest you to book an appointment today.