As the leading cause of death in the United States, twice as many people lost their lives to heart disease in 2020 as from COVID-19. Because of this, it’s essential to recognize early signs and symptoms of heart disease, as well as to know what steps to take to prevent it.
But what if you are already experiencing the early signs of heart disease? Is there anything you can do to stop it before it seriously impacts your life? Fortunately, the answer is yes! Here are some tips for stopping heart disease in its tracks- and even reversing it- so that you can live a long, healthy life.
Exercise– If you want to stop heart disease before it even starts, there’s no better way than to get moving! Incorporate aerobic exercise, strength training, and flexibility and balance exercises like yoga into your daily routine, and your heart will thank you for it!
See Your Doctor– Knowing your cholesterol levels, blood pressure, BMI, and other vital statistics is key in keeping an eye out for potential cardiovascular issues. Book an appointment with your doctor for a physical exam to get a routine screening and see if there are any red flags that need your attention.
Know Your Family History– If heart disease runs in your family, it pays to see your doctor and get tested for familial hypercholesterolemia, or FH, at your earliest convenience. If you and your family members are diagnosed with FH, your doctor can put you on a plan to help detect problems early and keep heart disease at bay.
Eat Healthy– We all know that a healthy diet is the key to a healthy life. But it’s hard to remember that when there are so many deliciously unhealthy foods in life! If your diet is high in saturated fats, red meat, or trans fats, you may be at higher risk for heart disease due to atherosclerosis, or blocked arteries due to plaque buildup from too much cholesterol. Try to eat a sensible, balanced diet including fruits, veggies, lean meats, and fish. It also pays to get a carotid test from your doctor to rule out atherosclerosis.
Quit Smoking– While most infamous for causing lung cancer, smoking is also a leading cause of heart disease. If you smoke, the best thing you can do for yourself and your loved ones is quit. Nicotine patches, gum, and support groups have been effective in helping people kick the habit.
If you have already been diagnosed with heart disease, we have some good news for you- it is entirely possible to reverse it through diet, exercise, certain prescribed medications, and regular visits to your doctor. By acting now to reverse the signs of heart disease, you can ensure a longer, healthier life to enjoy the things that matter most!