You are important and deserve to life a full, healthy life. Not only do you owe this to yourself, but to your loved ones, your children. Your heart is your body’s engine, making your heart health a vital aspect of living a full life. According to the American Heart Association, Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the country and that over 40% of the population will experience some form of the disease in their lifetime. While these are alarming statistics, there are steps you can take to monitor your heart health.
- Making wise food decisions. Foods that are high in saturated fat—like fried foods and fatty meats—can put you at risk of high cholesterol and can clog the arteries going to your heart. Eat these foods in moderation and be mindful of eating meals balanced with vegetables, grains, fruits, and proteins.
- Adding more activity to your life. Activities that regularly raise your heart rate help raise your metabolism, your circulation, and your overall health. Incorporating more walking, sports, and outdoor time into your life can help you toward this goal if the gym isn’t for you.
- If you don’t have a primary care physician, find one that takes your insurance. Further, do some homework on reviews of the physicians you are considering. Regardless of your reasons for not seeking regular preventative medical care, it is worth knowing if the organ that keeps your blood flowing is operating properly.
- See your primary care physician regularly. Doctors generally look at the totality of your health based on a combination of your family medical history, a physical examination of your body, weighing you, listening to your heart, taking your blood pressure, and testing your blood and urine. This can help your doctor identify flags that may indicate heart disease or a risk of heart disease, such as a family history of heart attack, being overweight, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.
- Follow your doctor’s advice. If your doctor recommends blood pressure or cholesterol medication, then follow through and take these medications as prescribed. These medications are meant to lower your risk of a heart attack. Further, if your doctor refers you for an EKG or to consult with a cardiologist for further testing, then you must listen to this advice.