Research has shown that nearly 80 million Americans have cardiovascular disease (CVD) and many more are at risk of developing it. Whether you have already been diagnosed with CVD, or you want to reduce your risk of developing it here are some steps that can help
Family health history
. Heart-healthy eating plan.
Heart-healthy exercise plan.
Know your risk factors. Family history of heart disease, age, high cholesterol, hypertension, smoking or exposure to second hand smoke, are overweight or obese, type 2 diabetes, sedentary lifestyle, stress and over consumption of alcohol are all risk factors for cardiovascular disease.
Eat your way to a healthy heart on a daily basis. Experts suggest 5-9 servings of fruits and vegetables a day, at least one portion of beans or nuts a day and at least three servings of whole grains someday.
Eat fish at least 2 times a week. Choose fatty fish such as mackerel or salmon are higher in omega-3s.
Switch to canola oil or olive oil. They have more cardiovascular smart omega-e fatty acids and vitamin E than vegetable oil.
Watch sodium (salt) intake. Sodium can contribute to high blood pressure, so limit it to no more than 2,300 mg or less than 1 teaspoon. per day.
Get your body moving. Do some kind of physical activity for at least 30 minutes five times or more per week.
Control your weight by combining physical activity with healthy eating. Obesity causes the heart to work harder. It can also raise blood pressure and cholesterol and put you at risk for type 2 diabetes.
Learn to control stress. It does not matter whether you choose a nice bubble bath with candles and soft music, yoga or meditation, just make the time to do something that you enjoy and that helps you relax.
Quit smoking. A smoker’s risk of cardiovascular disease is 2 to 4 times greater than that of a nonsmoker. Smoking damages the inside of blood vessels and increases clotting.
Tips and Warnings
February 1st is National Wear Red Day to support gored Women, a movement started by the American Heart Association to raise awareness about heart disease, the number 1 killer of women.
Consult your doctor before starting or increasing physical activity.