Improving your lifestyle can dramatically reduce your risk for heart disease.
No matter whether you have a family history of heart disease or not, it’s important that you are leading a heart-healthy lifestyle if you wish to lead a long, happy life. With heart disease being the most common cause of death in the US, according to the CDC, our Grand Rapids, MI, cardiologist Dr. Ronald VanderLaan wants you to take your heart health seriously. Here are some ways to reduce your risk,
Alter Your Diet
What you eat has the ability to improve your heart health or lead to disease. A healthy diet involves fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins (choosing chicken breast and fish over red or processed meats like bacon), nuts, legumes and low-fat dairy. Avoid foods high in sodium and trans fats.
Exercising offers a variety of benefits including supporting a strong, healthy heart. Everyone should be getting about 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity each week or 75 minutes of intense physical activity (e.g. running; sprints; boxing) or a combination. You should also incorporate strength training into your routine at least twice a week. Start gradually and increase the intensity of your workouts over time.
Manage Your Stress
If you are battling chronic stress, this can certainly take a toll on your heart. Long-term stressors can affect blood pressure and elevate your heart rate, which puts more stress on your heart. If you are struggling with stress and anxiety talk with our cardiologist to find ways to better manage your symptoms. You may find that regular exercise is a great outlet, or you may see results through regular meditation or deep breathing.
Get Regular Wellness Checkups
Every adult should be visiting the doctor at least once a year for checkups and screenings. When visiting your doctor be honest about your current lifestyle, health and diet. Talk with your doctor about your risk for heart disease and any screenings that may be performed. Lifestyle factors that play a role in heart disease can easily be altered. Those with a family history of heart disease should visit a doctor at least once a year to know their status.
We know that the pandemic has changed many aspects of our lives right now, but we don’t want that to change the medical care you need or have come to rely on. If you are dealing with any new or worsening heart problems, please call Grand Rapids Cardiology at (616) 717-5141.