Heart disease is one of the leading causes of death worldwide, but there are some key heart disease prevention steps you can take.
Cardiovascular diseases (CVD) encompass a group of diseases that affects the circulatory system in the human body. There are four main types of CVD - heart disease, stroke, peripheral arterial disease and aortic disease.
People constantly indulge in activities that harm bodies and encourage the development of cardiovascular diseases. Therefore, a few simple lifestyle choices become important and can help lower the risk of developing heart disease.
Below are some of the easy ways that will keep cardiovascular diseases at bay.
Smoking or using tobacco products is one of the most significant risk factors for developing CVD. The chemicals in tobacco narrow the arteries (atherosclerosis) on gradual consumption and inflict damage to the heart and blood vessels. No amount of smoking is safe; it is only when you quit smoking that the risk of heart disease will drop.
Maintain a healthy weight
Sedentary lifestyle and obesity are contributors of cardiovascular diseases. Get some regular exercise (at least 20 to 40 minutes of moderately intense physical activity) to maintain healthy weight, which in turn reduces the risk of fatal heart disease. Physical activity not only helps one control weight but also reduces strain on the heart, to prevent conditions such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes. Moreover, physical activities help reduce stress, which may be one contributing factor for cardiovascular diseases. Maintaining healthy weight is crucial to prevent non–insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus, which appears to be a strong risk factor for cardiovascular disease.
Activities that help you live diligently help lower risk of CVD. These could be housekeeping, gardening, taking the stairs and walking the dog. All such activities count towards the overall effort to reduce the risk.
Lower your cholesterol
If you have high blood cholesterol, your chances of developing coronary heart disease are high. Extra cholesterol in the blood deposits on the inner walls of the arteries, and gradually narrows them to allow less blood pass through them to the heart.
Eat heart healthy food
Health experts recommend eating less saturated fat and more fibre to keep cardiovascular diseases at bay. A recent study appeared in the Annals of Internal Medicine journal suggested that eating fruits and vegetables, particularly green leafy vegetables and vitamin C-rich fruits, seems to have a shielding effect against cardiovascular diseases. Alternatively, a vegetarian diet will help reduce the risk of coronary artery disease by manifolds.
Avoid trans fats
Those at greater risk of developing cardiovascular diseases must avoid trans fats, as they have been linked to adverse lipid profiles and an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.
Lower alcohol consumption
Binge drinking may increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. Limit alcohol intake to keep heart conditions at bay.
Stress may have an adverse effect on blood lipids, which is linked with a higher incidence of cardiac events. Relaxation methods such as meditation, breathing exercises and other stress management techniques are essential for preventing cardiovascular disease.
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