Healthy Living Habits: Preventing Heart Disease
To wrap up American Heart Month, here are some ways to live a healthy lifestyle to reduce your risk for heart disease:
Eating a healthy diet.
Making healthful food choices can help you avoid heart disease and its complications. Eating foods low in saturated fats, trans fat, and cholesterol as well as foods high in fiber can help prevent high cholesterol. Limiting your salt intake can lower your blood pressure. Limiting sugar can lower your blood sugar level to prevent or help control diabetes. As always, be sure to eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables!
Maintaining a healthy weight.
Being overweight or obese increases your risk for heart disease. To determine if your weight is in healthy range, doctors often calculate your body mass index (BMI). If you know your height and weight, you can calculate your BMI.
Getting enough physical activity.
Exercise can help maintain a healthy weight and lower your blood pressure, cholesterol, and sugar levels. You'd be surprised how easy it can be to incorporate physical activity into your day. Try taking the stairs instead of the elevator, walk to talk to a coworker in the office rather than email them, or stand at your desk for a portion of the day. There are lots of ways to weave activity into your day.
We all know this, but smoking cigarettes or using tobacco products greatly increases your risk for heart disease. Luckily, there are a lot of options to help you quit tobacco. Consult with your doctor to determine the best option for you.