Several factors increase the chances of developing heart disease, some of which are beyond your control, like age and family history. The good news is that we have the power to change several risk factors, and doing so slashes heart disease risk.
Lifestyle changes are the foundation of reducing the risk for chronic diseases, including heart disease. Cardiovascular physician Dr. Nader Chadda and the rest of our team at Advanced Heart and Vascular Associates are devoted to helping patients keep their heart and circulatory system as healthy and strong as possible.
Fortunately, heart disease isn’t an inevitable part of getting older. Our team can help you protect your heart health by tailoring care to your specific needs. In the meantime, you should be aware of lifestyle habits you may have that are harming your heart health. In this post we discuss three things to stop doing to lower your risk of heart disease.
Moving too little is hazardous to your overall health and is particularly bad for your heart. Inactivity has been linked to cognitive decline and even increased mortality risk. Fortunately, practically any activity that elevates your heart rate is an excellent place to begin.
Every week, you should aim to get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity. Start slowly and build up to it gradually if you aren’t used to exercise, and remember that you don’t have to do it all at once.
Break it up into smaller segments that suit your schedule and lifestyle. It counts as long as you raise your heart rate for 15 minutes or more at a time. Commit to doing something that gets your body moving each day. This could be dog walking, gardening, or mall walking.
Choosing less healthy foods
A heart-healthy diet contains a wide variety of delicious fruits, vegetables, lean protein, nuts, and whole grains, yet most Americans aren’t getting enough nutritious foods and instead are choosing foods with too much added sugar, salt, and saturated fat.
Avoid processed, sugary, and fried foods, and watch what you eat and drink in restaurants. Less healthy foods should be held for special occasions rather than consumed on a daily basis.
It's especially critical to avoid high sodium. The American Heart Association recommends that most adults limit their sodium intake to no more than 2,300 milligrams per day, and no more than 1,500 milligrams daily if you have high blood pressure.
Keep an eye out for an excess of bad cholesterol (LDL) and/or triglycerides and a deficiency of good cholesterol (HDL). High blood sugar levels can also harm your blood vessels. Diabetes makes you twice as likely to develop heart disease.
Putting off slimming down
Make tomorrow today if you’ve been putting off losing weight. Extra weight, particularly around the waist, is harmful to your heart.
Obesity is a major risk factor for heart disease. Researchers discovered that the more you weigh, the greater your chance of heart disease. While you may feel healthy, excess body fat silently damages the body.
Being overweight also increases your cholesterol, blood sugar, triglycerides, and blood pressure. All of these factors harm your heart and increase your chances of developing heart disease.
If you’re overweight, make it a top priority to work with your provider to come up with tools and resources to help you adopt long-term changes that promote weight management.
Expert cardiovascular care you can rely on
You don’t have to go it alone when it comes to taking care of your heart health. The Advanced Heart & Vascular Associates team is here to provide top-quality care. Call one of our offices — in Land O’ Lakes, Brooksville, and Hudson, Florida — to schedule a visit with Dr. Chadda today. Your heart health is our top priority!