The statistics are sobering. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States among both men and women.[i] As every minute passes by, no less than 2 Americans are losing their life to this terrible disease.
The good news is there are things you can do today to boost your heart health and reduce cardiovascular related issues. However, everyone’s’ individual circumstances very and there are risk factors you are unable to change including:[ii]
Age – The older we get, the higher our risk of heart disease.
Gender – Some controllable risk factors impact women and men differently.
Race/Ethnicity – Certain groups have higher risk of heart disease than others.
Family History – You are at a higher risk if a close family member had heart disease.
While there are certain risk factors you are born into, there are many more completely within your control. To help you keep your heart healthy, we gathered up the latest tips the experts are recommending. By taking these relatively simple steps, you can reduce your chance of cardiovascular disease and lead a long and healthy life:[iii]
Reduce salt intake – Salt can increase blood pressure which can lead to stroke and heart disease. The recommended daily limit of salt is 6g per day for adults.
Consume less sugar – Diets high in sugar can lead to weight gain which in turn increases blood pressure and your chance of heart disease.
Limit saturated fat – High cholesterol levels can result from a diet high in saturated fat, which can be found in such foods as butter, fatty meat, and processed foods.
Exercise regularly – A regular exercise regimen can strengthen your heart, boost your cardiovascular system, help you lose weight, and lower cholesterol and blood pressure.
Limit alcohol – Alcohol can add unnecessary calories to your diet leading to weight gain while alcohol’s effects can increase blood pressure.
Quit smoking – Smokers are twice more likely to suffer a heart attack than non-smokers. Smoking increases blood pressure and reduces oxygen in your blood stream.
Manage your stress – Taking care of your mental health is as important as your physical health as high stress levels can increase blood pressure and be a trigger for heart attacks.
Get enough sleep – Sleeping allow your mind and body time to heal. Lack of sleep has been linked to higher high blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity.
Eat healthy – Diets high in fruits and vegetables along with good fats including fish have shown the ability to increase overall heart health.
For more information on how to improve your heart health, visit www.CDC.gov.