Is Heart Disease Preventable?

heart disease

Heart disease and associated cardiovascular diseases are on the rise, but the good news is that there are plenty of things you can do to reduce your risks of suffering from a heart attack or stroke. According to the World Health Organization, 80% of premature strokes and heart attacks could have been prevented.

By following a healthy diet, getting regular exercise, and avoiding tobacco products, you can reduce your risk of heart disease. Keeping other risk factors like high cholesterol, high blood sugar or diabetes, and high blood pressure is also an important factor. 

Here are some things you can do to help prevent heart disease:

1. Implement a Healthy Diet 

Eating a healthy diet is critical to a healthy heart and circulatory system. Consuming high-quality meats, fish, whole grains, vegetables, and fruits as the majority of your diet is a good way to help ensure your health. 

Your diet should consist of a large number of vegetables, some good quality meat (a good rule of thumb for meat serving is the size of your palm), various fruits, and some whole grains. When you focus on eating a healthy diet at least 80 percent of the time, the other 20 percent of the time you can have some leeway in choosing to splurge a little. 

2. Get Regular Exercise

Getting at least 30 minutes of regular physical activity each day can help to maintain your cardiovascular fitness. It’s a good idea to aim for at least 60 minutes on most days of the week if you want to maintain a healthy weight. 

Cardiovascular workouts can help to get your blood pumping, lifting weights can help you gain and retain muscle, and yoga and stretching exercises can help you maintain flexibility. Altogether, these are good ways to move your body and keep your body in good shape. You don’t have to hit the gym every single day to get regular exercise- even walking your neighborhood at a brisk pace can be a great way to help get the minutes in. 

3. Avoid Tobacco Use

Smoking or chewing tobacco is dangerous to your health. Whether you use cigars, cigarettes, chew tobacco, or smoke pipes, it’s a good idea to quit smoking to improve your overall health. Even exposure to secondhand smoke is not good for your health. 

After a person stops using tobacco products, the risk of stroke and heart attack begin to drop immediately. After a year of not smoking, the risk of heart attack and stroke can drop by as much as 50%. 

4. Watch and Control Your Overall Heart Disease Risk

A large part of preventing strokes and heart attacks is to check and control your cardiovascular risk. A medical professional can estimate your risk by evaluating certain lab markers, and then help you come up with a plan to reduce your risk.

If you have high blood pressure, you may experience no symptoms, but it is one of the largest causes of sudden heart attack or stroke. 

If your blood pressure is high, you can follow some lifestyle changes to lower your blood pressure and cardiovascular risk. Being aware of your cholesterol levels can be a good idea since that can contribute to cardiovascular disease.

Cholesterol can be managed by diet and other factors to help reduce your risk. Blood sugar levels, especially elevated ones, can increase the risk of stroke and heart attacks. If you’re diabetic, it’s extremely important to manage your blood sugar and blood pressure. 

Let Us Help You Prevent Heart Disease

If you’re concerned about your overall cardiovascular health, don’t stress a moment longer. Dr. Leo and Dr. Julie Rosenberg can evaluate your overall health and come up with a plan to optimize your health. We are located at 6321 Executive Blvd, Rockville, MD 20852, in the Executive office park. We enjoy helping our clients live their best lives possible. Don’t wait any longer- call us today to schedule your first appointment!

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Dr. L. J. Leo

Dr. Leo began his education at the Virginia College of Osteopathic Medicine in Blacksburg, Virginia, where he earned his doctorate in osteopathy. He completed his internal medicine residency through the U.S. Army and had the honor of serving multiple overseas tours before retirement.

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