Here are 9 ways to reduce the risk of heart disease:
1. Reduce Inflammation
Chronic inflammation increases your risk of heart disease. Types of chronic inflammation include periodontal disease, psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, obesity and gout. A variety of treatments are available; be sure to see your physician if you have any of these conditions. Aspirin or treating the underlying disorder reduces the risk of atherosclerotic progression.
2. Get Enough Vitamin D
Vitamin D is critical to your overall health. A simple blood test can determine what your vitamin D level is. Vitamin D insufficiency is associated with obesity, insulin resistance, increase risk of breast cancer and decreased muscle strength. The average intake for teens and adults should be 1,000 units per day, and 2,000 units per day for people over 65. Try to get at least 20 minutes of exposure to sun a day; people with darker pigmentation may need more.
3. Reduce Belly Fat
Abdominal fat is associated with menopause, aging and a sedentary lifestyle. It increases insulin resistance, diabetes and heart disease. Exercise and weight training help build muscle mass, reduce body fat and maintain metabolic rate. Maintaining muscle mass is the No. 1 predictor of independent living.
4. Adopt Simple Strategies
Huge lifestyle changes are not required to reduce your risk of heart disease. Eating an apple before meals help reduce your weight. Eliminating high-caloric sodas and juices can save you up to 300 calories a day. Other strategies: take 15-minute breaks for exercise twice daily; eat breakfast; take the stairs.
5. Get and Stay Active
Move your body; even modest exercise such as walking 30 minutes five days a week helps reduce your risk of diabetes, heart attack and stroke, and improve your quality of life. Find a support group, determine a route, keep a food and exercise journal, write out your goals, weigh in weekly and get rid of black and white thinking. Participate in the CHANGE program at Torrance Memorial.
6. See Your Doctor
Get to know your physician, and make him or her a partner in your good health. Know your numbers, including blood pressure, lipid profile, cholesterol, hsCRP, glucose and insulin levels. Get a stress test and screening image.
7. Go To Bed
Make getting a good night’s sleep priority. Sleep deprivation increase the risk of coronary artery disease, obesity and diabetes.
8. Manage Stress
Chronic stress increase cortisol and abdominal fat, and decreases sleep quality. Delegate. Be realistic.
9. Eat a Diet High In Fiber
Adding legumes, vegetables, fruit and whole grains to your body can improve the elasticity of your blood vessels within six weeks. Healthful foods include oatmeal with bran, wholegrain bread, salmon and bok choy, apples, lean burgers, sparkling water, and cottage cheese with oranges.