According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States. While there are some risk factors that contribute to heart disease that you can’t control, there are also many things you can do to preserve your heart health.
Here’s a list of largely preventable factors that increase your risk of heart disease:
- Having high blood pressure
- Having high cholesterol
- Smoking or drinking alcohol
- Being overweight or obese
- Having a waist measurement greater than 40 inches (for men) or 35 inches (for women)
- Having an inactive lifestyle
- Having Type 2 diabetes
- Keeping a poor diet high in saturated fat and cholesterol
- Experiencing excess stress
Mitigating Your Risks
Use these tips to take control of your risks:
- Do not smoke or use drugs.
- Drink alcohol in moderation.
- Maintain a healthy weight and get regular exercise.
- Follow a low-fat, low-cholesterol diet.
- Limit your sodium intake to between 1,500 and 2,400 milligrams per day.
- Keep your stress levels under control.
- Schedule regular medical checkups with your primary care physician.
- Get your blood pressure and cholesterol checked regularly.
The Difference a Healthy Lifestyle Can Make
Combining regular physical activity with a healthy diet, adequate sleep, effective stress management and avoidance of tobacco slashes your risk of heart disease and premature death dramatically. By following this guidance, you can do your part to maintain your heart health for years to come.