February is often viewed as the season of love, not only because of Valentine’s Day, but also with heart disease being the leading cause of death in both men and women in the United States, it’s especially important not only this month, but every day, to take care of your cardiovascular health. Heart disease can happen at any age, and recently, it has been appearing in younger adults more and more often. Cardiologists at Advanced Heart And Vein Center want to share the following information to improve your cardiac health.
Heart Health Risk Factors
There are numerous factors that put people at risk for developing heart disease and nearly half of all Americans have at least one of the top risk factors. You could be at risk if you:
- Have high blood pressure – According to the American Heart Association it’s estimated that over 100 million Americans have high blood pressure. This accounts for nearly half of the adults in the United States. Around half of these people don’t have their high blood pressure under control putting them at risk for heart disease or a stroke.
- Have high cholesterol – Having high cholesterol can limit blood flow, increasing the risk of a heart attack or stroke. Maintaining a diet high in unhealthy foods, smoking and not getting enough exercise can all contribute to high cholesterol.
- Smoking – More than 30 million people in the U.S. are still smokers. Smoking increases plaque in your blood vessels, which narrows your arteries, causing clogs and clots which can lead to a heart attack or stroke.
Top Tips to Take Care of Your Heart
You’re never too old or too young to start taking care of your heart! Cardiologists at Advanced Heart and Vein Center are sharing some tips to be heart healthy and reduce the risk of heart disease at any age:
- Choose a healthy eating plan and stick to it – Foods that are high in saturated fat, trans fat and sodium often lead to an increase for your risk of heart disease. Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, fiber, grains, fatty fish, nuts and seeds.
- Get active – It’s recommended to get moving for at least 150 minutes per week. Get your heart pumping with a brisk walk or a jog up the steps.
- Avoid smoking – If you don’t smoke, don’t start! If you do, quit now. Quitting smoking is one of the best things you can do for your heart and overall health.
- Know your cholesterol level and blood pressure – it is recommended to check your cholesterol levels at least once a year and monitor blood pressure at least once a week.