ItHome Hypertension Changes in your lifestyle can improve heart health

Changes in your lifestyle can improve heart health

Credits to the 👉🏾Source Link👉🏾 Olivia
Changes in your lifestyle can improve heart health
Dr. Adam Niedelman
 |  For The Bulletin

Until the recent COVID-19 pandemic, heart disease had been the leading cause of death for men, women and people of most racial and ethnic groups in the United States.

The statistics are staggering:

● One person dies every 36 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease.

● About 655,000 Americans die from heart disease each year — that’s 1 in every 4 deaths.

● Every year, about 805,000 Americans have a heart attack.

That sounds serious. And scary. But even small changes can go a long way toward improving your heart health and preventing a catastrophic heart attack or stroke. If you’ve already fallen off from your “live healthier” resolutions, use February as American Heart Month to really buy in to modifying your lifestyle. 

Don’t go overboard and overwhelm yourself. Pick two or three changes, focus on them, and go from there. Think long-term. And, as always, contact your doctor for specific questions and recommendations regarding exercise and diet.

Basic definitions 

Cardiovascular disease is an umbrella term that covers a lot of ground. Some basic definitions are always helpful.

Coronary artery disease: blockages in arteries that fuel the heart muscle.

● The heart muscle needs highly oxygenated blood to function properly.

● If arteries get clogged with cholesterol (called atherosclerosis or “hardening of the arteries”),adequate blood can’t get through to the heart muscle.

● A heart attack is heart muscle damaged from lack of oxygen, often happening suddenly.

● When a blockage becomes severe or develops suddenly, a patient may require a procedure called an angioplasty with a stent to relieve the blockage and improve blood flow.

● Over time, a lack of adequate blood flow to the heart can lead to heart failure, when the heart “pump” is no longer able to meet the demands of the body.

Arrhythmia: An irregular or abnormal heart rhythm. Certain arrhythmias can increase the risk of stroke in some people. 

Stroke: When brain cells die from insufficient oxygen after a blood flow blockage or ruptured artery.

Aneurysm: An enlargement of a blood vessel that forms anywhere in the body, but usually in the brain, aorta, spleen or legs. 

What contributes?

Many factors contribute to cardiovascular disease, including genetics. Although it’s true you can’t change your family, you can change your lifestyle. That can have a big impact on your cardiovascular health.

High blood pressure is a well-known contributor to heart disease. A normal, healthy blood pressure is at or below 120/80. The top number is the systolic pressure, when the heart pumps blood into the arteries. The bottom number is the diastolic pressure, when the heart relaxes and fills with blood for its next beat. Both are important.

Diabetes leads to elevated glucose (sugar) in the blood, which can damage arteries. 

High cholesterol is also a common factor. Excess cholesterol can join with other substances to form a thick, hard deposit on the inside of the arteries. This can lead to atherosclerosis, linked to many of the conditions mentioned above.

Other factors (that you can control) are smoking, lack of exercise, obesity, obstructive sleep apnea and stress.

What can I do?

Increase your activity. The American Heart Association recommends 30-40 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise, three to four times a week. 

Always check with your doctor to make sure it is safe before starting an exercise program.

Make healthy food choices. This isn’t a diet, because that suggests it’s temporary. 

Here are some tips that are pretty easy to incorporate into your life:

● Pay attention to food labels and serving sizes.

● Cut your portion size as a first step (use a smaller plate at dinner).

● Eat fewer processed foods.

● Eat more fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains (frozen veggies are OK).

● Add whole grains with fiber, such as brown rice, oatmeal and whole-grain breads.

● Switch to skim or low-fat dairy products.

● Eat fish high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, trout and herring.

● You can still treat yourself from time to time, but will quickly find yourself wanting “bad stuff” less often.

Stop smoking.

Limit alcohol: no more than two drinks a day for men, one a day for women.

Find time to relax!

Adam F. Niedelman, M.D., RPVI, is the director of Vascular Medicine, Hartford HealthCare Medical Group, East Region.

Source Link

related posts

Leave a Comment

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We will assume you are ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More

%d bloggers like this: