Prevent Heart Disease – The Big 5 Fitness Boosters

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Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, according to the American Heart Association. Because of COVID-19’s long-term impact, that label isn’t going away anytime soon.

Why? Research suggests that coronavirus can harm the heart and circulatory system directly. In addition, the pandemic’s indirect impacts, which harm cardiovascular health as well, should not be neglected.

Therefore, now is the time to learn how to prevent heart disease.

You’ve probably heard of the “COVID-15,” the 15 pounds that many people have gained as a result of the pandemic. While staying put and working from home, many have developed bad eating habits, larger alcohol intake, and less physical activity. All of these can lead to a deterioration in heart health.

Further, consider the emotional strain of quarantine seclusion and the worry of contracting COVID-19. In addition, people have regularly postponed or canceled normal doctor appointments as a result of the pandemic.

Heart disease and chronic illnesses like high blood pressure, diabetes, and excessive cholesterol levels go unnoticed without regular health care visits. If left untreated, these can raise the risk of a heart attack or stroke. The good news: most fatalities from heart disease and stroke are avoidable with proper medical care and a healthy lifestyle.

Here are five powerful things you can do to prevent heart disease in the future and improve your lifestyle now:


1. Healthy Hearts Eat the Best Foods

A heart-healthy diet can help reduce the risk of heart disease by lowering cholesterol and improving blood pressure. This includes a variety of vegetables and fruits, healthy fats, legumes, lean meats, and whole grains. In addition, it requires a reduction in sugar and sodium intake.


2. Get Moving!

Regular exercise or light activity for 30-60 minutes each day has a significant positive impact on heart health. Exercise lowers blood pressure, decreases cholesterol, and prevents diabetes while also helping people lose weight. In addition, it makes you feel fantastic!


3. Reach for Your Optimal Weight

Obesity contributes to chronic risk factors for heart disease, such as high cholesterol and diabetes. Therefore striving for a healthy weight can help minimize your risk of heart disease.


4. Healthy Hearts Stay Away From Smoke

Tobacco use is damaging to the heart and blood arteries. It’s also harmful to the lungs, causing lung illness and a variety of malignancies. According to studies, quitting smoking improves your health right away and lowers your risk of heart disease over time.


5. Regular Screening Can Help Prevent Heart Disease

To maintain optimal heart health, screen for risk factors of heart disease regularly. Cholesterol levels, blood pressure readings, and diabetes testing are all crucial for a normal, healthy heart.


More Benefits

Another benefit of emphasizing lifestyle changes is that the heart-­protective effects extend beyond cholesterol reduction. You can lower your blood pressure, lose weight, and maybe lessen artery inflammation. This inflammation is a risk factor for heart attacks and stroke, therefore, lowering it is beneficial.

According to medical specialists, changing one’s lifestyle can eliminate the need for medications.

Furthermore, Medicare uses a program for reversing heart disease. This aggressive plan combines a very low-fat vegetarian diet with a tailored exercise program, smoking cessation, meditation, and group therapy. It has been so well received, that Medicare now covers the treatment for those with heart disease.

Efforts like this program can be highly beneficial. However, new research reveals smaller and less rigorous actions, like the five we’ve highlighted, can generate significant health benefits. It’s never too late to make adjustments.


Heart Health and Depression

For those with heart failure, depression is also a major factor to consider. Symptoms are more likely to worsen in patients with heart failure who are also depressed.

According to one study, people with depression and heart failure have a substantially higher rate of death and hospitalization. This was compared with that of people with no evidence of depression.

While depression is more common in women with heart failure, males with heart failure appear to have more severe depression. The good news is you can treat depression effectively with medicines, psychosocial therapy, or a combination of the two. Furthermore, research indicates treating depression can improve outcomes for those with both cardiac disease and depression.

Due to earlier diagnosis and better therapy, it is now feasible to delay the onset of heart failure symptoms. In persons with heart failure, research has shown that controlling depression can lead to greater self-care and fewer symptoms.


Image Credit: Karolina Grabowska; Pexels; Thank you!

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