While many of us understand the benefits of healthy eating, exercising, and the importance of living a healthy lifestyle, we often overlook the importance of maintaining a healthy heart. This is unfortunate because the heart is the most important organ in our bodies. This organ plays a vital role in maintaining our overall health.
When the heart is healthy, it pumps blood to the rest of the body. However, if the heart is not functioning properly, the entire body can become severely ill.
People who have a heart condition are at an increased risk of having a heart attack or stroke. However, people who are at risk of developing a heart condition can take steps to prevent this.
There is no magic pill to prevent heart failure and stroke. But there are things you can do to reduce your risk.
How to Prevent Heart Failure and Stroke
Assess your risk.
Thanks to technology, you can easily check, adjust, and manage your likelihood of experiencing a cardiovascular event within the next 10 years if you are between the ages of 40 and 75 and have never had a heart attack or stroke. Certain factors, such as smoking, renal disease, or a family history of early heart disease, can raise your risks. Your healthcare team and you can decide on the best course of action for you if you are aware of your risk factors. Changes in lifestyle can reduce or eliminate several risk factors.
Adopt a balanced diet.
Vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, nuts, plant-based proteins, lean animal proteins, and fish should be the mainstays of your diet. Limit your intake of processed meats, refined carbs, and sugar-sweetened beverages. Reduce sodium, added sugars, saturated fats, and trans fats by using the nutrition facts label on packaged foods.
Be active physically.
One of the best strategies to keep healthy, ward off disease, and age well is to move more.
Adults should engage in 75 minutes of strenuous exercise or 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week. If you’re already active, you can work harder to get even greater rewards. Start becoming more active if you aren’t already by standing up more often.
Be aware of your weight.
Keep yourself at a healthy weight. If you are obese or overweight, lose weight. Cut back on your caloric intake and up your exercise. You can find out what your BMI is. If you require assistance, discuss a weight loss strategy with your medical team.
Avoid consuming tobacco.
Don’t start smoking, vaping, or using tobacco products if you don’t already. A tobacco product that is safe to use does not exist. If giving up tobacco or smoking is difficult for you, enlist the support of your team to help you break the habit using tried-and-true techniques. Don’t simply switch from one supply of tobacco to another. Aim to stay away from secondhand smoke as well!
Control the environment.
It’s crucial to work with your medical team and adjust your lifestyle if you have high blood pressure (hypertension), high cholesterol, high blood sugar, diabetes, or other illnesses that place you at higher risk. By improving one’s diet, being more active, decreasing weight, and giving up smoking, one can prevent or manage a variety of ailments.
Take your medication as directed.
Your doctor may recommend statins or other medications to help reduce your cholesterol, blood sugar, and blood pressure if you have a medical problem.
Follow the directions on all prescriptions. But unless your doctor specifically instructs you to, avoid taking aspirin as a preventative measure. Daily aspirin use may not be beneficial if you have never suffered a heart attack or stroke and may even be problematic, increasing your chance of bleeding. Your doctor might advise you to take a modest dose of aspirin if you’ve already had a heart attack or stroke to lower your risk of experiencing one again.
Be a good team player.
To live a longer, healthier life, your medical team can help you lower your risk of developing heart disease or stroke. Develop your preventative strategy jointly. When attempting to make healthy changes, be transparent about any difficulties you may have by asking questions. Your health and well-being can be impacted by a variety of factors, including stress, sleep, mental health, family dynamics, cigarette use, food access, social support, and other problems.
The final word? The greatest strategy to prevent or delay many heart and brain problems is to maintain a healthy lifestyle. This entails maintaining a healthy weight, eating a balanced diet, abstaining from tobacco use, and controlling any conditions that may increase your risk. Make health a priority today.