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At Risk for Heart Disease? Here Are Four Ways You Can Change Your Lifestyle

woman holding neon light heartHeart disease is still the number one cause of death in America. Approximately 200,000 out of 605,000 heart attacks each year are recurrent attacks. There are uncontrollable and controllable risk factors on heart disease.

Uncontrollable factors such as age, gender, and family history, while controllable risk factors are high blood pressure and high cholesterol. However, hope is not lost. You can manage to control these risks by making lifestyle changes.

Here are four ways that you can take control of such factors.

Manage or Reduce Stress

Our body reacts when there are changes that happen in our life. It is called stress. Stress is normal, and it will always be a part of our life, and each of us reacts and copes with stress differently. But to those who suffer or who are at risk of heart disease, you should take extra caution when managing stress levels. Though we can never really avoid stress, there are ways to manage and control it.  Stress may enhance the factors which increase a person’s risk of heart disease.

Because it could lead them to unhealthy eating habits, increase in blood pressure, and make one more susceptible to physical inactivity. Managing stress can improve our overall health. Defuse stress by stimulating your body to relax. You can do this through breathing exercises. Take a few slow and deep breaths as this will deliver oxygen to your bloodstreams and signals your brain to relax. It also helps to slow down your heart rate.

Maintain a Healthy Weight

weighing scaleWe know that having excess weight can lead to many serious health problems and diseases. And so is being underweight. Both underweight and overweight are at risk of heart disease. There are a lot of people who would likely assume that heart disease only threatens a person who is overweight. Health studies have shown that underweight people have a higher risk of experiencing coronary heart disease than those who have a normal BMI. And their risk of an early death caused by it is greater than those that are overweight.

Body Mass Index (BMI) is one way to check your healthy weight. A normal weight should maintain a BMI score between 18.5 and 24.9. Manage a healthy weight by engaging in regular physical activities. Plan your meal and make sure that it has a high nutrient content. Also, have an annual or regular visit with your physician.

Get Enough Sleep

Our blood pressure goes down during normal sleep. Not having enough sleep can increase blood pressure. Many studies have shown that sleep deprivation has a higher chance of risk to heart disease and many other chronic health conditions. An adult is recommended to have at least seven hours of sleep. Poor sleeping habits can cause sleeping problems such as sleep apnea.

A study has also shown that sleep apnea is linked to heart failure. Lower the risk by sticking to a sleeping routine. This will enable you to sleep and rise at the same time so that your body may adapt to a healthy sleeping habit. Make adjustments to your room temperature and light to help you get better sleep. Make it a goal to take the recommended sleeping period.

Engage in Physical Activities

woman exercising yoga fitnessRegular physical activity is advisable because of its benefits to overall health and wellbeing. Research has shown that having at least 90 minutes of a moderate level of physical activity helps to lower down blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Regular exercise keeps your heart strong and healthy, which improves your blood circulation.

Studies show that even people with a moderate level of workout have a lower risk of heart disease than those who have low to zero fitness level. Start with a few and slow physical activities, and gradually increase intensity as your body begins to be familiar with the routine. You can start with simple walking or jogging, then gradually adding some like riding a bike or swimming. You can even engage in extreme housework as long as you keep on moving. But make sure to consult your doctor before you begin with.

There are many ways to keep a healthy heart and prevent the risk of a heart attack. Commit to a healthy lifestyle, and your heart will be thankful for it for many years to come.

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