Nearly everyone has heard about heart attacks and knows that they can be deadly. Heart attacks are the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States. Each year, about 735,000 Americans have a heart attack. About 525,000 people die from them each year. However, many people don’t know how to reduce their heart attack risk. This blog post will discuss ways that you can reduce your risk of having a heart attack. It will also provide some tips on how to stay healthy overall. If you are looking to protect your heart, keep reading!
Eat Healthy Foods
Incorporating a healthy diet into your life is one of the most effective ways to protect your heart from future attacks. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, lean meats, and low-fat dairy products are all great foods to eat when reducing your risk of having a heart attack in the future. Suppose you have a family history or personal history with high cholesterol levels or blood pressure issues. In that case, you should be especially careful about what you eat because this can increase your chance of getting heart disease. It’s crucial to maintain a low sodium diet and a healthy body weight because being overweight has been shown to increase the risk of heart disease.
Avoid Processed Foods
Processed foods are another food to avoid when trying to reduce your risk of having a heart attack. These foods include prepared soups, processed meats and deli meats, snack crackers or chips, packaged cakes, cookies, etc. Added sugars and fat are in a lot of processed foods, so try to avoid those as much as possible. Try cooking meals at home with whole ingredients instead of buying pre-made or frozen ones because those tend to have more additives and unhealthy ingredients. If you do purchase pre-packaged foods, then read the labels carefully and make sure there aren’t any added sugars, fat, etc.
Regular exercise can help lower your chances of developing heart disease significantly. The more active you are, the better shape your body will be in and the healthier your heart will remain! If you have never been much into exercising, start small by walking or riding a bike to work or around your neighborhood. Stick to an aerobic routine because it has the most significant cardiovascular benefits. Over time, you should do more intensive workouts like running or playing sports.
If you are constantly stressed, your body will produce more cortisol. Cortisol is the “stress hormone” that can cause heart problems to develop because it can increase blood pressure and make your arteries stiffer, which restricts blood flow throughout the body. One study has shown that chronically stressed women have a significantly higher risk of developing coronary artery disease than those not as stressed. Another study found that young adults who reported high stress levels were more likely to have an elevated blood pressure than their less-stressed counterparts. If you need help balancing your life, consider practicing yoga or meditating daily. These activities can help relieve stress, so you don’t feel overwhelmed by anxiety or tension all the time.
Avoid Alcohol Or Drink In Moderation
Men should limit themselves to one or two drinks per day, while women should avoid consuming more than one drink per day. If you drink more than that, try cutting down for a healthier lifestyle. When you choose to drink, opt for red wine because it contains antioxidants and various other compounds that benefit the heart and blood vessels. However, avoiding alcohol altogether is the best option.
Maintain A Healthy Weight
The risk of developing heart problems increases for overweight men with a body mass index (BMI) greater than 25 and women who are overweight with a BMI greater than 24. If you currently have a high BMI, try cutting out empty carbs like white bread, pasta, or rice and replace them with foods that will provide your body with the nutrients it needs. Also, consider reducing your calorie intake by 500 calories per day to lower your total calorie intake by about 1/2 pound per week. This way, you should lose about 1-2 pounds every week without feeling too overwhelmed by the change.
Monitor Your Cholesterol Levels
High cholesterol levels are another risk factor for heart disease and heart attacks. If you have a family history of high cholesterol or cardiovascular issues, speak with your doctor about monitoring your cholesterol levels to ensure they stay at healthy levels. The only way to get good information on your lipid panel is by getting a blood test done by a professional, so follow this advice and get tested regularly if necessary. Eating healthy and exercising will help lower LDL (bad) cholesterol while increasing HDL (good) cholesterol levels.
Start exercising daily and maintain a healthy diet to help lower your heart attack risk. Reducing stress, drinking in moderation, and maintaining a healthy weight will also make a big difference in the long run. By following these simple steps, you can significantly reduce your risk of having a heart attack. Even if you do not suffer from any health issues or have a strong family history of heart disease, these tips are still beneficial for staying healthy and living longer.