Updated: Dec 18, 2019
You can prevent heart disease by following a heart-healthy lifestyle. Here are strategies to help you protect your heart.
Heart disease may be a leading cause of death, but that doesn't mean you have to accept it as your fate. Although you lack the power to change some risk factors — such as family history, sex or age,there are some key heart disease prevention steps you can take to reduce your risk.
You can avoid heart problems in the future by adopting a healthy lifestyle today. Here are seven heart disease prevention tips to get you started.
1. Don't smoke or use tobacco: Smoking or using tobacco of any kind is one of the most significant risk factors for developing heart disease. Chemicals in tobacco can damage your heart and blood vessels, leading to narrowing of the arteries due to plaque buildup (atherosclerosis). Atherosclerosis can ultimately lead to a heart attack.
2. Exercise for about 30 minutes on most days of the week: Getting some regular, daily exercise can reduce your risk of heart disease. And when you combine physical activity with other lifestyle measures, such as maintaining a healthy weight, the payoff is even greater.
3. Eat a heart-healthy diet: Eating a healthy diet can reduce your risk of heart disease. Two examples of heart-healthy food plans include the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) eating plan and the Mediterranean diet.
4. Maintain a healthy weight: Being overweight — especially if you carry excess weight around your middle — increases your risk of heart disease. Excess weight can lead to conditions that increase your chances of heart disease — including high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes.
5. Get enough quality sleep: Sleep deprivation can do more than leave you yawning throughout the day; it can harm your health. People who don't get enough sleep have a higher risk of obesity, high blood pressure, heart attack, diabetes and depression.