The heart is an essential organ in the human body that pumps blood to all the other parts. It should be given the care it deserves to avoid any significant problems. Unfortunately, many people do not do this. Research shows that heart diseases are the top cause of death and disability in America. Syed Bokhari, MD, FACC, a cardiologist in Riverside, CA, recommends reducing the risk factors in our control and going for regular checkups to remain healthy.
More than half of these diseases are preventable. Here are some practical ways:
- Avoid smoking
Tobacco use raises blood pressure and increases the risk of a heart attack by narrowing the blood vessels. Second-hand smoking is just as harmful. The chances of heart diseases decrease after an individual stops smoking. So, if you do not smoke, then you should not start.
- Exercise regularly
Regular exercises will strengthen the heart and make it pump better. Consequently, the rest of the body will get adequate oxygen, which decreases blood pressure and the amount of fat in the blood.
- Avoid too much weight
Obesity has been linked with several heart conditions. It increases the amount of cholesterol in the blood, raises blood pressure, and increases the chances of diabetes. Watching your weight can reduce these risks.
- Limit your use of alcohol
Too much drinking raises blood pressure and adds calories, resulting in weight gain. Doctors recommend two servings of alcohol for men and one for women to avoid such complications.
- Get enough sleep
Not getting adequate sleep will increase the chances of obesity, high blood pressure, and diabetes. Having these conditions can cause different heart problems. Switch off the lights and electronic devices, get a body massage or find out what works to give you quality sleep. Experts recommend about 8 hours of sleep daily.
- Keep cholesterol under control
High levels of bad cholesterol clog the arteries taking blood to the heart muscle, thereby increasing chances of coronary artery disease. There are treatments and lifestyle change approaches to maintain a healthy level of cholesterol. Triglycerides, a different category of fats in the blood, also increase coronary artery risks in women.
- Manage blood pressure
High blood pressure is one of the leading causes of heart diseases. Getting a regular checkup is essential for adults if you have been diagnosed with high blood pressure. Lifestyle changes can help to control this condition.
- Observe a healthy diet
Cut down on saturated fats, added sugars, and any food high in sodium. Instead, opt for vegetables, whole grains, and fresh fruits to control blood pressure or any condition that puts you at risk of heart diseases.
- Avoid stress
Too much stress raises blood pressure, and at extreme levels, it could cause a heart attack. People’s social ways to cope with stress, such as drinking and smoking, also increase the risks of heart diseases. You can seek professional help if your stress levels are getting out of control.
We cannot control all the risk factors by adopting a healthy lifestyle. Some like family history, age, and pre-existing medical conditions require medical attention. If you have any questions or issues with heart health, Dr. Syed Bokhari will answer them all and provide compassionate treatment. Book an appointment today.