Heart attack or stroke is a dreaded word. Your heart is one of your most critical organs that determine your overall health and wellbeing. Taking care of your heart is crucial to staying fit and healthy. A lethargic and sedentary lifestyle, lack of exercise, and poor diet are some of the reasons for the rising incidence of heart disease. However, you can prevent or lower heart attack risk by following a heart-healthy lifestyle.
Tips To Lower Heart Attack Risk
Ever wondered what affects your heart health the most? Perhaps it’s your poor lifestyle choices and habits that put you at an increased risk of a stroke or heart attack. Besides smoking, drinking too much alcohol, being inactive and obese, and making poor food choices are some of the harmful habits that you would better want to quit for a healthy heart and lower heart attack risk.
Such habits affect your metabolism and change how cells and tissues work. To make matters worse, they disturb your cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood sugar levels, affecting your overall health increasing the risk of a heart attack. The damage is extended to not only your heart, but also the brain, kidneys, and bones. The risks to your health are too many to ignore. Here are some essential tips to lower heart attack risk.
Eat A Heart Healthy Diet To Lower Heart Attack Risk
No matter what your age is, you want to make healthy food choices to stay fit and healthy. What you eat determines your heart health. The food you eat can reduce your risk of stroke and heart disease. It is important to choose foods low in sodium and saturated fat to lower heart attack risk. You would want to avoid trans fats that do your body no good and raise your risk of heart disease.
As part of a healthy diet plan, it is a good idea to:
- Include fruits and green vegetables, fiber-rich foods, and healthy fats in your diet.
- Replace trans fat and saturated fat with heart-healthy
- Limit your intake of sugar-sweetened beverages.
- Choose lean meat instead of red meat.
- Make salmon a part of your heart-friendly diet, because it is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which is known to reduce the risk of arrhythmia and atherosclerosis, which are key to lower heart attack risk. It also reduces triglycerides. A heart-healthy diet should include fish at least twice a week, recommends the American Heart Association.
- Include quick-cooking or rolled oats in your heart-friendly meal plans. Avoid instant oats as they may contain sugar. Rich in soluble fiber, oatmeal can soak up cholesterol in your digestive tract just like a sponge, ensuring it is not absorbed in the bloodstream.
- Eat more citrus fruits that are rich in Vitamin C and flavonoids and reduce the risk of ischemic stroke.
- Choose soy over dairy products to add protein to your diet without the risk of including unhealthy fats in your diet. As a rich source of polyunsaturated fats that contain fiber, vitamins, and minerals, soy helps lower blood pressure and reduces LDL or “bad” cholesterol levels, thus helping lower heart attack risk.
Get Moving for Heart Attack Prevention
While healthy food is an essential part of your heart-friendly regimen, you cannot ignore physical activity to keep your heart healthy and strong. Spend less time at the desk and more time on the move if you want to lower heart attack risk.
The American Heart Association recommends at least 2½ hours of moderate-intensity exercise per week to make your heart strong. Or you may make it a weekly routine to work out for 1 hour and 15 minutes in any vigorous-intensity aerobic activity to lower heart attack risk. It is a good idea to engage in muscle-strengthening activities, which work for all major muscle groups.
Take It Easy To Reduce Heart Attack Risk
Stress, anger, and hostility raise the risk of heart disease. Find a relaxation method that you can spare time for every day to keep stress at bay. Meditation and yoga are some of the best ways to relax your body and mind and rewind after work, keeping stress levels down. You may want to volunteer or engage in some community or religious services to keep stress down and relax your mind. It is a good idea to avoid situations that make you raise your anxiety levels and make you angry.
Quit Smoking To Prevent Heart Attack
Smoking or tobacco raises your risk of developing heart disease. Quit smoking to lower heart attack risk. Chemicals in tobacco can severely affect your heart and blood vessels, causing a narrowing of the arteries due to plaque buildup, which raises your risk of clogged arteries. Atherosclerosis can result in a stroke or heart attack.
Maintain a Healthy Blood Pressure To Boost Heart Health
The higher your blood pressure, the greater your risk of heart disease. Also known as hypertension, high blood pressure puts extra strain on your blood vessels, causing irreversible damage to the inner lining. As a result, coronary arteries taking blood to the heart become narrowed due to the accumulation of plaque in the form of cholesterol, fat, and other substances.
A Healthy Weight Key To Lower Heart Attack Risk
If you carry excess weight around your belly, you are at a high-risk cardiovascular disease. Being overweight and obese increases your risk of high cholesterol, triglycerides, diabetes, and blood pressure, thus putting you at a high risk of heart ailments.
Weight management can help you reduce your triglycerides and blood sugar levels, thus reducing the threat of diabetes and heart disease.
Get a Good Night’s Sleep Everyday To Lower Risk of an Attack
A sleep deprived body is stressed physically and mentally, which can harm your health if sleeplessness becomes a habit. If you lack good quality sleep, you are at a high risk of blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, and heart attack. Sleep well to lower heart attack risk.
People suffering from obstructive sleep apnea are at a greater risk of cardiovascular disease. In that case, your throat muscles block your airway while you are asleep, causing breathing problems. Such episodes cause disturbed sleeping cycles. When your body lacks restful sleep, you are likely to suffer from high blood pressure, arrhythmia, or heart failure.
Mind Your Blood Sugar
A sugar-laden diet can damage your arteries, cause obesity, and raise your risk of heart disease. Cut down on your sugar intake to reduce the risk of obesity and cardiovascular disease. People who rely too much on artificial sugar-rich foods had higher cardiovascular mortality. If your intake of sugar is more, your liver is stimulated to dump harmful triglycerides and fats into your bloodstream. This further raises the risk of high blood pressure and heart disease.
Watch your symptoms closely and see your doctor if you find anything unusual with your heart health. This may include feeling extremely tired, breathlessness, changes in your heart rhythm, excessive sweating, and pain in jaw or back. Small adjustments in your lifestyle can help cut down the risk of cardiovascular disease and lower heart attack risk.