Your Lifestyle and Heart Disease

You can improve your risk for heart disease by improving your lifestyle habits such as what you eat, how you manage your weight, by being fit through exercise and by regular medical appointments.

Lifestyle improvements can decrease your risk for cardiovascular disease because you will be strengthening your muscles including your heart through proper exercise and by giving your body the proper nutrients to function properly.

Lifestyle changes that can improve health and reduce your risk for heart disease include eating foods that are heart healthy such as fresh fruits and vegetables and by avoiding fat and sweets. Stay away from saturated and transfats and limit your intake of caffeine and sugar. When you develop better food habits you reduce your risk for a heart attack. Pay attention to not only what foods you eat but how you prepare the foods you serve to yourself, family and friends.

Managing your weight can reduce your risk for a heart attack. It is not enough to lose weight, you have to keep it off and maintain a healthy weight for your height. Eating a healthy and balanced diet that is combined with proper exercise is a sure way of getting fit and staying heart healthy. Stay away from fad diets that can rob you of needed nutrients. Choose instead to eat a variety of foods so that you consume all of the vitamins and minerals your body needs to stay healthy.

You keep your heart healthy and your body fit by participating in the proper amounts and types of exercises each day. Heart healthy exercises include swimming, cycling, jogging, skiing, dancing, walking and just about any activity that gets you up and moving so that your joints stay flexible and your blood keeps circulating. Physical activity on a daily basis means a healthier heart.

When individuals are physically inactive they increase their risk for heart disease. Most Americans are not being as physically active each day as they should. If you are between the ages of 18 and 65 you should be getting at least 30 minutes of moderate to intense activity each day. If you are between the ages of 50 and 64 and have any chronic conditions such as arthritis heart disease, diabetes or asthma see your doctor for the physical activities that are safe for you.

Childhood obesity is another threat for heart disease that should not be ignored. Parents and caregivers of children including school staff should be more aware of the problems facing children from obesity including heart disease so that they can initiate and maintain proper physical activity and nutrition guidelines and programs for the children in their care.

Heart disease is a leading cause of death for women. Women especially need to practice healthy lifestyle improvements such as better eating habits and getting fit through proper daily exercise in order to reduce their risk for heart disease.

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