Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the U.S. You cannot change risk factors like family history, age and race. However, you can follow these simple steps:
- See your primary care provider (PCP) every year. If you have a health problem, ask your doctor for help.
- Don't smoke. Smoking, even once in a while, is unsafe. Chemicals in tobacco smoke damage your heart. They make your blood vessels close up. Once you quit smoking, your risk of a heart attack drops.
- Get moving. Being active helps your heart pump blood with less effort. Aim to get 30 minutes of activity most days of the week. Try climbing stairs, cleaning the house or walking.
- Maintain a healthy weight. Eat a healthy diet low in calories. When you shop, read food labels to cut back on foods that are high in salt.
- Prevent and control high blood pressure. You can keep your blood pressure down by following a healthy diet, staying active, not smoking and managing your weight.
- Manage your cholesterol. Cut down on foods high in saturated fats, like butter and fatty meats. Instead, add foods to your diet that are high in fiber. Try eating oatmeal, apples, broccoli or beans.
High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)
High blood pressure can not be cured but it can be controlled. Although high blood pressure usually has no symptoms, there are many things you can do to prevent or control high blood pressure:
What is high blood pressure?
American Heart Association
National Heart Lung and Blood Institute
- You can lose weight if you are overweight
- Eat a healthy diet that is low in salt and fats
- Exercise regularly
- Drink less alcohol and caffeine
- Manage your stress level