Six Ways to Reduce Your Risk of Heart Disease
Did you know that your heart beats 2.5 billion times over the average lifetime? It pushes millions of gallons of blood to every part of your body, carrying oxygen, fuel, hormones, and essential cells.
Indeed, your heart is one of the most essential organs in your body, and neglecting its care can lead to serious consequences. According to the Centers for Disease Control, heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women. Every year, 659,000 people in the United States die from heart disease – that’s one in every four deaths.
What Raises Your Risk for Heart Disease?
Uncontrollable risk factors for heart disease[i] include being male, older age, being postmenopausal, and having a family history of heart disease. But here’s the good news: many risk factors can be controlled, including smoking, a sedentary lifestyle, stress, unmanaged cholesterol, diabetes, and blood pressure.
Remember to get regular health screenings for cholesterol, blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes to assess your risk.
Are you looking for an easy-to-follow game plan? The following tips can help boost your heart health and the length and quality of life. It’s a win-win!
6 Strategies to Prevent Heart Disease
1. Quit Smoking
Smoking can double your risk of having a heart attack. According to the Texas Heart Institute, research shows elevated heart rates and tightening of major arteries among smokers, who also carry the potential for an irregular heart rhythm. These factors can all cause your heart to work harder. Smoking also raises blood pressure, which carries a higher risk of stroke.
But here’s the good news. According to the Mayo Clinic, The risk of heart disease starts to drop in as little as a day after quitting. So, don’t beat yourself up about past transgressions you can’t change because you’ll start reaping the health rewards as soon as you quit!
2. Get Moving
Your heart needs exercise just like any other muscle. And muscles that are used regularly become stronger and healthier, right? When your exercise regularly, the heart can pump more blood through the body and work at optimal efficiency with less strain[ii]. Regular exercise helps keep arteries and other blood vessels flexible, contributing to good blood flow and healthy blood pressure.
The American Heart Association recommends adults get at least 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes per week of vigorous aerobic activity. And remember, some exercise is better than none. According to one study[iii], folks who engaged in 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity per week had a 14 percent lower risk of heart disease than their couch-potato peers.
3. Manage Stress
According to Johns Hopkins, we shouldn’t underestimate the health repercussions of stress. Stress can increase inflammation in your body, which is linked to factors that can harm your heart, such as high blood pressure and lower “good” HDL cholesterol.
Move stress management to the top of your self-care list with relaxation exercises, meditation, or chatting with that friend who always makes you laugh.
4. Maintain a Healthy Weight
Carrying extra weight, especially around your midsection, increases the risk of heart disease and conditions such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and type 2 diabetes.
If your weight loss journey seems insurmountable, consider that even a small weight loss can be beneficial. The Mayo Clinic[iv] reports that reducing weight by just 3% to 5% can help decrease certain fats in the blood, lower blood sugar, and reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.
5. Adjust Your Diet
“Diet” sounds like a dirty word to some people, but there are some yummy foods that are good for your heart. Examples include salmon, oatmeal, olive oil, blueberries, and even dark chocolate.
Conversely, it’s best to stay clear of too much sugar, salt, processed carbs, alcohol and saturated and trans fat. The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) eating plan and the Mediterranean diet are both heart-healthy solutions.
6. Take Heart Healthy Supplements
You may not always have time to eat right, and you might want a little extra assistance to keep your heart in good shape. The right supplements can do wonders for your ticker. From resveratrol to Vitamin D, there are countless nutrients that have been shown to support heart health.
However, Omega-3 fatty acids often top the heart support list. These heart heroes may help reduce inflammation and lower blood pressure, which in turn reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke.
These fatty acids are found in specific types of fish. But what if you’re vegan or simply not a fan of fish burps? Zenwise® offers Vegan Omega-3, which contains a sustainable, rich source of Omega-3s derived from marine algae with 140mg EPA and 280mg DHA in every serving.
Taking control of your heart health may seem like a daunting challenge, but you can take small steps that move you toward your greater goal — a healthy life powered by a strong heart.
Have follow-up questions regarding heart-healthy supplements? Our customer service reps can help. Reach them at firstname.lastname@example.org or M-F from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST at (800) 940-1972. And as always, all Zenwise® products are backed by the "Eat Freely...or its Free" guarantee!