Did you know that heart disease is the leading cause of death among men and women in the United States? One person every 36 seconds dies of cardiovascular disease in the United States. Wilson Health wants to help fight this disease by providing quality care and spreading awareness of the importance of taking care of your heart. Here are 7 steps you can take to take care of your heart.
1. Smoking and Tobacco - Quit for Good
Smoking is the leading preventable cause of death and disability in the United States. Chemicals in tobacco can damage the heart and blood vessels. Cigarette smoke reduces the oxygen in the blood, which increases blood pressure and heart rate because the heart has to work harder to supply enough oxygen to the body and brain.
2. Get Moving! - Increase your physical activity
Regular physical activity has many benefits such as helping you quit smoking, lose weight, reduce stress, sleep better, lower blood pressure and increase HDL cholesterol. In general, you should aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate activity and 75 minutes of vigorous activity per week.
3. Eat Healthy
A healthy diet can help protect the heart, improve blood pressure and cholesterol, and reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. Healthy foods to include in your diet include vegetables, fruits, beans lean meats, fish, low-fat or fat-free dairy foods, whole grains, and healthy fats (such as olive oil).
4. Maintain a Healthy Weight
Being overweight increases the risk of heart disease. Excess weight can lead to conditions that increase the chances of developing heart disease - including high blood pressure, high cholesterol and type 2 diabetes. The body mass index (BMI) uses height and weight to determine whether a person is overweight or obese. A BMI of 25 or higher is considered overweight and is generally associated with higher cholesterol, higher blood pressure, and an increased risk of heart disease and stroke.
5. Get a Good Night's Sleep
Most adults need at least 7 hours of sleep every night. People who don't get enough sleep have a higher risk of obesity, high blood pressure, heart attack, diabetes and depression. Set a sleep schedule and stick to it by going to bed and waking up at the same times each day. If you feel like you've been getting enough sleep but you're still tired throughout the day, ask your healthcare provider if you need to be evaluated for obstructive sleep apnea, a condition that can increase your risk of heart disease.
6. Manage Stress
Some people cope with stress in unhealthy ways - such as overeating, drinking or smoking. Finding alternative ways to manage stress - such as physical activity, relaxation exercises or meditation - can help improve your health.
7. Get Regular Health Screenings
Regular screening for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and type 2 diabetes can tell you what your numbers are and whether you need to take action. Your early response to symptoms may prevent an emergency. Here are some of Wilson Health's contact information so you can be ready: