For many of us, heart disease or problems are rarely front-of-mind. Errands, schedule, responsibilities, and home upkeep all take so much effort, it’s hard to focus on something that doesn’t seem as pressing. However, even if you think you’re pretty healthy, you might be sabotaging your cardio health without realizing it. Eighty percent of heart attacks can be treated and prevented if you know what steps to take. Some of the risks are genetic, so check to see if heart disease runs in your family. Others are lifestyle risks that you have the power to change.
What You Can Change
- Work on improving your cholesterol levels, which do not discriminate based on age. Especially if you have a family history of it, you’ll need to work on lowering them to keep your heart at lower risk.
- Know your blood pressure. High blood pressure does not only affect those who are “Type A” or high-strung, it can affect even the most calm of us.
- Get active every day. Increased physical activity is tied to decreasing risk of cardiovascular disease.
- Cease smoking if you haven’t already. Smoking increases the risk of heart disease by up to four times, as it increases the heart rate and blood pressure while damaging blood vessels.
- Be careful of your diet and be aware of family history, to avoid developing diabetes. Adults with diabetes are two to four times more likely to have heart disease – it’s the same level of risk as smoking.
- Watch your weight. Not to have a magic number on the scale, but because carrying excess weight can strain your heart as well as increase your blood pressure.
Following all of these steps certainly can sound daunting. You first need to be aware of any risk factors you have, whether by blood or habits, then work on changing each one. Of course, all this while still staying on top of the rest of your life. But think of it this way: without a healthy heart, you won’t be able to accomplish much of anything else you need to do. For help coming up with plans and support to help you overcome any heart health risks you have, give us a call at 717-840-9885 or click on the button below to make an appointment.
Dr. Julie Drolet
P.S. Did you recently have an appointment with us?
Fill out this survey to tell us about your experience.