Doing a single heart-healthy habit, such as swimming or taking walks daily, is not enough to protect your heart or reduce your risk of heart-related conditions. This is especially true if you still engage in unhealthy habits, including eating fatty or salty foods. Protecting your heart involves making positive changes that can improve your overall health and address your personal risk factors.
What You Can Do
Of course, there are certain risk factors that you have no control over, such as getting older. Studies suggest that the risk of developing coronary heart disease increases as you age. Family history or genetics is another risk factor that you cannot control. This makes it important to focus your effort on the factors that you can change to lower your risk of heart disease.
Here are the risk factors that you can do something about:
- High blood pressure
- Being overweight
- High cholesterol level
- Sedentary lifestyle
Revere Health and other cardiology centers in Price note that having two or more risk factors can be extremely dangerous. This is because it can worsen the effect of another risk factor. Smoking and having high cholesterol, for instance, makes you more prone to developing the said disease. Start taking care of yourself now to enjoy a healthy life.
Talk to Experts
You can know more about your personal risk by talking to your healthcare provider. While you may be aware of some risks, such as being inactive or being overweight, some other risks might not show a few signs or symptoms. Your doctor will perform some tests to determine if you have high blood pressure or high cholesterol level.
It is also important to establish a clear communication with your doctor. If you don’t understand something, request for a simple explanation. It also pays to ask your physician heart-related questions, such as:
- What are my heart numbers (blood pressure, cholesterol levels)? What do they mean?
- Am I at risk for developing diabetes?
- (If you smoke) What can I do to kick the habit?
- What are the signs that I am having a heart attack?
- What should I eat and do to protect my heart?
Lowering your risk for heart disease involves taking care of your overall health. Keep the above tips in mind to improve and protect your heart health.