According to the Center for Disease Control, “cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States; one in every three deaths is from heart disease and stroke, equal to 2,200 deaths per day.” This is an alarming statistic considering that heart disease is largely preventable through proper diet, exercise and lifestyle choices, although age, sex, and family history do play a role. Given that you cannot change the latter; it is important that you be proactive and make sure that you aren’t one of the millions of those affected with heart disease.
3 Ways to Help You Prevent Heart Disease
1. Exercise for 30 minutes on most days of the week
Getting some regular, daily exercise can reduce your risk of fatal heart disease. And when you combine physical activity with other lifestyle measures, such as maintaining a healthy weight, the payoff is even greater.
2. Maintain a healthy weight
As you put on weight in adulthood, your weight gain is mostly fat rather than muscle. This excess weight can lead to conditions that increase your chances of heart disease — high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes.
3. Don’t smoke or use tobacco
Smoking or using tobacco is one of the most significant risk factors for developing heart disease. Chemicals in tobacco can damage your heart and blood vessels, leading to narrowing of the arteries (atherosclerosis). (Mayoclinic)
- “CDC Features – Heart Month.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Center for Disease Control, 30 Jan. 2012. Web. 31 Jan. 2012. <http://www.cdc.gov/features/heartmonth/>.
- Mayoclinic Staff. “5 Medication-free Strategies to Help Prevent Heart Disease.” Mayoclinic.com. Mayoclinic, 12 Jan. 2011. Web. 31 Feb. 2012. <http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/heart-disease-prevention/WO00041>.