Tuesday, February 25, 2014 Written by Sadie Snyder

Preventing Heart Disease

Although you can’t change family history, age or sex there are ways to avoid heart problems before it’s too late.

There are some key heart disease prevention steps you can take, starting with not smoking or using tobacco. Tobacco use is one of the leading factors in developing heart disease. The chemicals in cigarettes can lead to the narrowing of arteries, ultimately causing a heart attack. No amount of smoking is safe, but the more you smoke the greater the risk of heart disease.

Another prevention step is exercising for 30 minutes most days of the week. This doesn’t mean running a marathon, it can be as simple as walking around the neighborhood. This will allow you to maintain a healthy weight which reduces your chances of developing not only heart disease, but high blood pressure, high cholesterol or even diabetes.

Along with maintaining a healthy weight is a well balanced diet. Diets rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains can help protect your heart. Beans and other low-fat sources of protein are important as well.

Quality sleep is another key prevention step in reducing the risk of heart disease. Those z’s are important because people who do not get enough sleep are at risk of obesity, high blood pressure, heart attack, diabetes and depression. Adults need seven to nine hours of sleep a night. Setting a sleep schedule and making sleep a priority in your life is extremely important when it comes to heart health.

Finally get regular health screenings so your doctor can monitor your blood pressure and cholesterol. If the numbers are not good doctors can take action before it’s too late.

Stay heart healthy by doing these six prevention steps:

    1- Don’t smoke or use tobacco

    2- Exercise for 30 minutes a day

    3- Eat a well balanced diet

    4- Maintain a healthy weight

    5- Get enough quality sleep

    6- Get regular heart screenings