Heart disease remains one of the leading causes of death in the United States, but there are ways to minimize the risk. While some of the contributing factors, such as genetics, age, gender, can’t be controlled; there are other factors that are within your control.
If you smoke, stop. If you don’t smoke, don’t start. Smokeless tobacco, occasional smoking, and secondhand smoke all raise your risk for heart disease. The sooner you stop smoking or using tobacco, the sooner your body can begin recovering from its detrimental affects and start healing.
Anything you can do to increase the activity in your day, do it. Taking the stairs instead of the elevator, hitting the treadmill for 30 minutes, walking the dog in the morning – any activity helps! Start slow and gradually build your way up to longer and more intense workouts. Eventually you’ll find yourself getting in 30-60 minutes of exercise 4-5 days a week, which is ideal.
Manage Your Weight
Combine that new activity regimen with a heart-healthy diet and the pounds will start dropping off, along with your risk for heart disease. Plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, along with low fat proteins like fish, beans, and tofu will keep you feeling full, provide the nutrients your body needs, and keep those sugar cravings at bay. Processed and fast foods, red meat and dairy products are a major source of the saturated fats notorious for helping clog your arteries.
It’s never too late to prevent a heart attack
Remember, it’s ok to start slow and work up over time. After all, anything you do is better than nothing.
If you have any doubts about beginning a new exercise program, feel free to stop into your nearest AppleCare clinic for a physical exam and checkup.