Reduce Your Risk of Heart Disease
When you think of red hearts this month, please don’t think only of Valentine’s Day. Please think of a healthy heart life for America, and a healthy heart life for you. February has been named American Heart Month for a good reason. The reason is because heart disease is the leading cause in American deaths. Here’s some knowledge to give you the power to reduce your risk.
Heart disease, also known as cardiovascular disease, is generally known as blocked blood vessels that can lead to a heart attack or stroke. However, other heart conditions that hurt your heart’s muscles, rhythm, or other functions are also considered a form of heart disease. There are many heart disease symptoms.
Now that you know what it is, it’s important to know the heart disease facts, and who is at risk.
- Heart disease in the United States represents 1 in every 4 deaths.
- It is the number one cause of death in both men and women.
- 1 in 3 deaths in women are from cardiovascular disease and stroke.
- Heart disease and the conditions that lead to it can happen at any age.
Who is at risk? Everyone. Everyone is at risk, however some people have a much higher risk of having heart disease than others.
There are many conditions and lifestyle behaviors that can increase your risk of heart disease. Half of all Americans have at least one of the top three risk factors for heart disease (high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and smoking). Knowing which risk factors apply to you and if you can do something to lower your risk is the first step in prevention. Other conditions and lifestyle choices that can put you at a higher risk for heart disease include:
- Overweight and obesity
- Poor diet
- Physically inactive
- Excessive alcohol use
REDUCE YOUR RISK
Understanding heart disease and knowing which risk factors pertain to you are two integral steps towards cardiovascular health, but they are useless if they don’t lead you to action. Taking appropriate action against any of the risk factors above can reduce your risk of heart disease or even reverse damage to the heart. Even in cases where the factors are beyond your control, like those concerning age, gender, and heredity, taking any of the following actions can help minimize your risk.
- Quit Smoking: The Surgeon General has called smoking "the leading preventable cause of disease and deaths in the United States." Quit now and start decreasing your risk of heart disease immediately.
- Maintain a Healthy Weight: Don’t just lose weight, keep it off and greatly reduce your risk of heart disease.
- Exercise on a Regular Basis: 20 to 60 minutes per day regularly, three to five times per week.
- Eat Healthy: Lean meats, low-fat dairy products, and foods that are low in cholesterol, added salts, fats or sugars.
Epiphany Healthcare wants you to be heart healthy. Begin your life-long path to cardiovascular health by utilizing the tips above. Help someone else by sharing these tips with your friends and family.