"Preventing Heart Disease – Simple Tips for Maintaining a Healthy Heart" by Dr. K Pourmoghadam
Preventing or reducing the chances of heart disease isn't as difficult as many of us think. Read the new article by Dr. Kamal Pourmoghadam to find simple ways to prevent heart disease.
By: Dr. Kamal Pourmoghadam
While age and family history also contribute to determining your heart health, the World Health Organization has identified smoking, physical inactivity, unhealthy diet, and alcohol abuse as the key factors that can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease by contributing to hypertension, obesity, and increased blood glucose levels.
While age and family history are beyond one's control, maintaining a healthy lifestyle is considered as the best weapon to prevent and fight against heart problems. According to the Harvard School of Public Health, the preventive measures can be divided into three categories. While all three types include the same elements, their starting times are different due to which they also have different effects.
The ideal way to prevent heart disease is to begin taking precautionary measures in your life as soon as possible. This includes adopting a healthy lifestyle to prevent obesity, high cholesterol, and hypertension, which then will eliminate the risks of the inflammation of arteries, endothelial dysfunction, and atherosclerosis.
These preventive measures are aimed at people who have already developed the risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Their main objective is to keep the risk factors under control in order to prevent the development of a heart disease. Primary prevention includes making lifestyle changes as well as taking medication, if and when needed.
In view of the risk factors identified by the World Health Organization, the following lifestyle changes can help prevent or greatly reduce the risk of heart problems:
Physical activity can help with maintaining a healthy weight as well as controlling blood pressure, blood glucose, and cholesterol levels, which then leads to improved heart health.
As per the guidelines of the Department of Health and Human Services, you should aim for 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise for at least 5 days a week to prevent heart problems as well as to improve your overall health.
Obesity is one of the major contributing factors to heart problems. Calculate your BMI and make sure to maintain your weight in the healthy range to prevent health issues, including the heart disease.
Smoking cigarette and consuming excessive amounts of alcohol can increase your blood pressure. Alcohol intake is also linked to weight gain (by increasing your calorie intake). Both these factors affect your heart health and can increase the risk of a heart attack and stroke. Quit smoking and limit your alcohol intake to protect your heart.
Your blood sugar, cholesterol, and blood pressure play a huge role in determining your heart health. Higher levels of cholesterol and triglycerides can clog your arteries and cause a coronary heart disease, which then increases the risk of heart attack. Similarly, high blood pressure and glucose levels can also negatively affect your heart health. Get them checked regularly to make sure the levels aren't high and take immediate measures to control them if they exceed the healthy range.
Stress is a major factor that can cause heart disease. Stress not only increases blood pressure, but also leads to many unhealthy habits. Many people resort to drinking, smoking and overeating to cope with the daily stresses, all of which have a negative impact on the heart.
Preventing or reducing the chances of a heart disease isn't as difficult as many of us think. Making small changes in our lifestyle and habits can offer great help to keep our hearts strong and healthy. Give up on your bad habits and opt for a healthy heart diet to prevent heart disease as well as improve your overall health.
Dr. Kamal Pourmoghadam is a professor of surgery at the University of Central Florida College of Medicine, practicing congenital cardiac surgery for over twenty years and has been active in clinical research. He has extensive experience in neonatal and infant cardiac surgery and has special interest in the repair of single ventricle physiology patients and research in univentricular hearts.
Dr. Kamal Pourmoghadam