5 Ways to Prevent Heart Disease


5 Ways to Prevent Heart Disease

In America heart disease prevention is often at the forefront of our minds, as one life in our country is lost to this condition approximately every 37 seconds. In this post, we’ll discuss heart health, reveal exactly what qualifies as heart disease, list 5 ways to prevent it, and recommend 5 tips for prevention.

About Heart Health

To keep us alive, our hearts endure a never-ending workload of pumping blood through our bodies, carrying oxygen, hormones, fuel and other compounds. They also remove the waste products of metabolism.

Due to lack of physical activity, diet, smoking and genetic factors, our hearts can become vulnerable to disease. But with education and lifestyle management, there are ways to prevent problems and keep your heart healthy.

About Heart Disease

You may think of heart disease only in relation to heart attack prevention, but there are so many complexities to it. As the leading cause of death in our country, the risk of developing heart disease is real, even more so for those who have it in their family history.

Heart disease includes Coronary Heart Disease (CHD), which consists of narrow or blocked arteries; Arrhythmias, which are rhythm irregularities that cause hearts to sometimes skip a beat; and Congenital Heart Disease, which is a structural defect of the heart that is present at birth.

5 Ways to Prevent Heart Disease

Luckily, doctors know the types of things we can do to protect ourselves from heart disease. Read on for the top five ways to prevent it and maintain optimal heart health.

1. Eat a Heart-Healthy Diet

Modifying your diet to include foods rich in fiber (such as whole grains), fruits and vegetables, oily fish, nuts, legumes and seeds will increase your chances of remaining free of heart disease.

You’ll also want to shy away from foods high in sodium and those that contain trans fats. In addition, be mindful of the amount of sugar-filled drinks you consume and limit the amount of meat in your diet.

2. Exercise Regularly

Even if you maintain a healthy weight, physical activity is vital to maintaining good heart health. Choose exercises that you enjoy so you’ll stick to them, and commit to a regular schedule of movement.

If you’re unsure how much time you should spend and the various levels of intensity, the American Heart Association Provides an article with guidelines to assist you.

3. Limit and Manage Stress

Research shows that those who manage their stress well have a greater chance of avoiding heart disease. Whether you’re overeating, smoking, or functioning in a state of high anxiety, all of these activities can increase your blood pressure, which be very dangerous.

Explore breathing techniques, meditation, exercise, fresh air and mindful activities to reduce stress. If you need additional guidance or if self-help methods don’t work for your lifestyle, seek help from a WWMG Primary Care provider.

4. Monitor Cholesterol

Too much ‘bad’ cholesterol can block your arteries. So it’s important to know your cholesterol numbers and get labs regularly (as recommended by your health provider) to make sure your cholesterol remains at satisfactory levels.

If you’ve been diagnosed with high cholesterol, consult your primary care provider for guidance on how to reduce it. Usually lifestyle changes can make a huge impact, but in more severe cases, medication may be prescribed to keep high cholesterol safely under control.

5. Avoid Smoking

Smoking lowers the ‘good’ cholesterol in your blood. It also damages the cells that line the blood vessels, increases the buildup of plaque within the arteries and makes blood more likely to clot, which can prevent blood flow to the heart and brain. All of these factors can increase your risk of heart disease.

For these reasons, if you currently smoke, you should make every effort to stop and if you haven’t started, don’t.

Consult a Medical Professional About Your Heart

The Cardiology team at Western Washington Medical Group has provided excellent care to patients in our community for nearly four decades. Made up of eight academically trained Cardiologists, plus highly trained Nurse Practitioners and PAs, they are fully equipped to diagnose, treat and monitor vascular diseases and conditions.

Our Cardiology team serves patients in a variety of languages including Arabic, English, Hindi, Rajasthani, Spanish, Tamil, Telugu, Thai, and Vietnamese. To schedule an appointment with a member of our Cardiology team, request an appointment online. We look forward to support you in continued good health.