How To Love Your Heart
Let’s take a tough love approach to America’s No. 1 killer: heart disease.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. The National Center for Health Statistics shows that 23.4% of all deaths will be caused by this preventable disease. That is 1 in every 4 deaths.
Warning signs include:
Flu-like symptoms such as a low-grade fever and cold sweats.
Lack of energy or shortness of breath.
Weakness, dizziness or fainting.
Nausea or indigestion.
Rapid or irregular heartbeats.
Swelling or quick weight gain.
Upper abdominal pain or upper body pain.
If you experience these warning signs, and especially if you experience a combination of these warning signs, make an appointment right away with your medical provider.
Prevention Is a Virtue
Certain heart disease risk factors, such as age, gender, family history, and ethnicity are not things you can change. There are many heart disease risk factors, however, that can be managed with healthy lifestyle choices. Blood pressure, cholesterol and triglycerides, type 2 diabetes and prediabetes, unhealthy eating, physical inactivity, and excess weight are among the risk factors that we can control.
A heart-healthy lifestyle can help you lower your cholesterol and triglyceride levels, reduce your weight, manage diabetes, and control your blood pressure. Such a lifestyle includes healthy eating:
Enjoy whole grains, lean protein, and plenty of fruits and vegetables.
Limit unhealthy fats such as butter and lard. Opt for healthier fats such as olive oil and nuts.
Limit your dietary cholesterol and concentrate on nutrient-rich foods.
Limit sugar, sodium, and processed foods.
Eliminate trans fats, such as those found in certain spreads and processed snack foods..
Eat heart-healthy fish, such as salmon, mackerel, sardines, cod, tuna, and halibut.
Limit alcohol to no more than one drink per day for women, or two for men.
Lower your risk of heart disease with a minimum of 30 minutes of moderate exercise on most days. Include cardio such as cycling or hiking and strength training such as yoga or weightlifting.
Manage your stress levels with meditation, time management, and understanding the root cause of your stress. Speak with a counselor or therapist if needed.
Practice good sleep habits with regular routines and proper sleep hygiene.
7 Ways To Love Your Heart
Go for regular check-ups.
Follow a healthy eating plan.
Reduce and manage stress.
Get plenty of rest.
Do not ignore the warning signs of heart disease.
For even more on heart health, you may enjoy The Healthy Heart Lifestyle.