During the past decades, treatment for heart disease has dramatically improved. But until now, the better approach is preventing heart disease as much as possible. Particularly it is true for women, who do not tend to do.
Most of the cardiologists recommend the following heart-smart approaches.
Cardiac workouts make your heart work properly and progress or avoid the risk factors of heart disease including blood pressure, high blood sugar, and the cholesterol levels.
Practitioners recommend 45 minutes of cardiac workouts a day for as many days a week as you can or you can also do fast-walks on treadmill.
If you are new to exercise, first check with your practitioner.
2. Stop smoking
Particularly women have worse effects of tobacco. Smoking can induce heart disease in women at very younger ages when compared to non-smokers. If you are already suffering from heart disease, tobacco smoke accelerates heart blockages.
3. Control your diabetes
You need to control your diabetes, whether you have type 1 or type 2. Diabetic patients are more likely to develop heart disease, heart attack or stroke. Consume a diet consisting of low-fat and low-salt with plenty of whole grains, fish, unsalted nuts, fruits and vegetables as they help in preventing heart disease.
People with high blood pressure can greatly benefit from nuts because of phytosterols in nuts that block the absorption of cholesterol and avoid artery clogging. Nuts with high amounts of phytosterols include: pine nuts, sesame seeds, flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds, and pistachios.
4. Weight management
Excess weight can lead to various other factors like high cholesterol, high blood pressure and diabetes. Waist sizes of greater than 35 inches for women or greater than 40 inches for men are considered to be at a risk.
BMI more than 25 can also indicate a risk. Routine checkups help you to know the risk factors and take actions accordingly.
5. Limit alcohol consumption
High alcohol consumption can lead to heart failure, high blood pressure, breast cancer, stroke, obesity, and various other problems. Too much alcohol consumption increases fat levels in your blood called as triglycerides.
American heart association said that one glass of alcohol per day for women and one or two glasses for men can be appropriate.
6. Control blood pressure
High blood pressure keeps you at an increased risk of heart disease. It is common among elderly and middle aged people, women taking contraceptives, diabetics, obese people, heavy drinkers and people with kidney disease or gout.
7. Avoid illegal drugs
Cocaine controls coronary arteries. Cocaine consumption keeps you at an increased risk of heart attack or stroke.
8. Observe cholesterol levels
If the blood cholesterol level is 200 mg/dl or greater, then you are at higher risk of heart disease. Keep LDL levels below 100 mg/dl and triglyceride level below 150 mm/dl.
Having HDL levels below 40 mg/dl for women and 50 mg/dl for men can keep at higher risk of heart disease.
9. Take fish oil
Omega 3 fatty acids can greatly help you in preventing heart disease. Studies suggest that eating fatty fish twice a week can lower the risk.
10. Recognize the risk factors
Menopausal women who undergo HRT can be at high risk of blood clots, heart attack or stroke.
11. Aspirin therapy
It works for people above 40 years of age. Taking aspirin can increase the risk of bleeding, so don’t combine it with arthritis medications or any other pain medications. Talk with your practitioner before beginning or ending aspirin therapy.
12. Relax yourself
High levels of stress can keep you at high risk of coronary heart disease. Stress accelerates the artery blockages. Exercise, meditation or any other relaxation techniques help to manage stress levels and thus help you in preventing heart disease.