Heart disease causes many deaths, but the good news is that subspecialties such as preventive cardiology Upper East Side focus on lowering patients’ risk for developing heart disease. If you are at risk of developing cardiovascular disease, your cardiologist may recommend the following lifestyle changes to boost your heart health
Make physical activity part of your daily life
Regular physical activity is essential for the health of your heart; it helps you control your weight and reduces the risk of developing health problems such as high cholesterol and high blood pressure, which can strain your heart. Generally, you should aim for at least 30 to 60 minutes of physical activity every day. However, if you have been inactive for a while, you want to work your way up towards the goal gradually.
The good news is that you do not need strenuous exercise to achieve the benefits. Simple activities such as housekeeping, gardening, and using the stairs instead of the elevator make a difference.
Do not smoke
Smoking has detrimental effects on your heart; the nicotine in cigarettes constricts blood vessels, limiting blood supply to your body and brain. Consequently, the heart has to work harder to supply enough oxygen to your body. Quitting smoking is one of the best things you can do for your heart; avoid secondhand smoke even if you do not smoke. You can reap the benefits as soon as you quit because even a day of not smoking reduces your risk of heart disease. If you have difficulties quitting smoking, consider asking for professional help. Besides reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease, quitting smoking reduces your risk of lung cancer and chronic pain.
Maintain a healthy weight
Excess body weight, especially around the middle of your body, puts you at risk of heart disease and other conditions, including type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. For this reason, you should lose extra pounds and strive to stay within your ideal weight. Your waist circumference and BMI (Body Mass Index) can help you determine if you are overweight. For example, a BMI of 25 and higher are considered overweight and waist measurements greater than 40 inches for men and 35 inches for women increase the risk of heart disease.
The good news is that even losing a few pounds can help lower triglycerides in the blood, reducing your risk of type 2 diabetes. Lifestyle adjustments such as exercising and eating a healthy diet can help you lose extra pounds and control weight.
Eat a healthy diet
A healthy diet protects your heart and improves your overall well-being; it reduces your risk of type 2 diabetes and controls your cholesterol and blood pressure. You want to eat more low-fat foods, whole grains, lean meats, vegetables, fruits, legumes, and healthy fats such as olive oil for a healthier heart. Specialists recommend reducing the intake of processed carbohydrates, salt, sugar, and alcohol. You should also limit your intake of saturated fats in full-dairy products and red meat and trans fat found in fried fast foods like chips.
If you are at risk of heart disease, visit your Upper East Side Cardiology specialist to know how you can benefit from preventive cardiology.