Anyone can be at risk for a heart attack but some factors, whether they be genetic or lifestyle-related, can certainly up that risk. The good news is there are many ways to reduce your risk of having a heart attack even if you are genetically-predisposed to heart disease. Read on to learn what you can do starting today to reduce your risk.
Make Some Lifestyle Changes to Reduce Your Heart Attack Risk Factors
We all have habits we are not proud of and some of those habits are worse than others for your health. When it comes to lifestyle, smoking cigarettes is probably the top risk factor for heart attacks in men and women of all ages. What you heard about quitting is correct; it’s never too late to stop smoking! It’s been proven that within a short period of time of quitting, there are notable positive effects on overall health. Even if you have been smoking for many decades, you will still benefit from quitting. There is no doubt that stopping this habit can be very hard, rest assured that there are many resources available to help you kick this bad habit and get your health back on track. Now for the easier lifestyle changes. Diet is a big one. Follow the food guide to healthy eating so you get the right amounts of all the food groups. Eating plenty of vegetables and fruits is an obvious one but nuts, grains, proteins and dairy in moderation are all good for a balanced diet. Water is also essential and drink plenty of it! Drinking water flushes out toxins that can build up in the body and cause numerous problems that can affect heart health. It’s also a good idea to cut down on soda, greasy foods and foods that have a lot of sodium, sugar and preservatives and drink alcoholic beverages in moderation. Get some blood work done to see which vitamins and nutrients you are deficient in, if any, and focus on supplementing those things into your diet.
Exercise is the other majorly important thing to incorporate into your daily routine to reduce your Heart Attack Risk Factors. Make sure to incorporate plenty of cardio, weight-lifting, toning and stretching exercises most days of the week. Yoga and walking are great starters for anyone just getting into a fitness routine. Biking, swimming, dance aerobics and running are also great for more advanced fitness enthusiasts.
You can’t change any genetic factors you inherited from other family members but following the above guidelines can certainly help! The reality is if an immediate family member has heart disease, you are at a greater risk of developing it too. Diabetes is also a risk factor that can be controlled but it also runs in families so if a family member has it, you need to be careful and be screened for the disease throughout your life.