Your heart performs a vital function, pumping about 5 liters of blood on average per minute. While active, whether running or exercising, your heart may pump about 4 times as much blood to help ensure you get the oxygen you need to maintain your energy. In essence, you need a healthy heart to stay active and happy. Heart disease, however, is becoming a more prevalent issue, with even younger patients being affected. By knowing your risks, you can help improve your heart health and achieve your goals for a happier and healthier life no matter your age.
What is Heart Disease?
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. But what exactly is heart disease and why should you consider reducing your risk of developing this disease?
One main concern is that its prevalence is increasing though in most cases it is preventable whether through lifestyle changes or, in some cases, medicine. We want to help you live your healthiest and happiest lives by taking the simple steps you need to fortify your health each day.
Heart disease refers to several conditions that affect the heart, the most common type being coronary artery disease (CAD). Coronary artery disease is characterized by a buildup of plaque in the arteries which can lead to narrowing of arteries and increased risk of a heart attack.
Symptoms of heart disease may include the following:
- Heart attack: A part of the heart muscle can die because it is deprived of blood flow or oxygen. When a heart attack occurs, patients may feel chest pain or discomfort, upper body discomfort, upper back or neck pain, dizziness, shortness of breath, indigestion, nausea or vomiting.
- Arrhythmia: This refers to an irregular heart beat and is often described as palpitations or a fluttering feeling in the chest. Arrhythmia may signify that your heart isn’t pumping enough blood to your body.
- Heart failure: When your heart is unable to pump enough blood to organs in your body, this may be a serious condition called heart failure. It is associated with symptoms that include shortness of breath, fatigue, swelling of the feet, ankles, legs, or neck veins can be signs of heart failure. Note that heart failure does not mean that one’s heart has stopped beating.*
What are your Risk Factors?
Several health conditions, one’s age and lifestyle, as well as family history can all impact the level of risk an individual may experience as it pertains to the development of heart disease.
For instance, health conditions such as high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol and lifestyle choices such as smoking are among the most prevalent relevant risks. Other risks may include obesity, physical inactivity and poor diets.
Knowing your risk factors is one of the first steps to improving your heart health. The next step is to consider ways to reduce your risk, especially as it relates to lifestyle choices which can be adjusted to achieve more optimal health.
Simple Steps to Improving your Heart Health
Since your risk of developing heart disease is primarily based on lifestyle and other factors within an individual’s control, our team at Premier Medical encourages patients to actively seek ways to incorporate healthy lifestyle habits in their daily routine. Some considerations for how to improve your health while reducing your risks of health disease include the following:
Make time for physical activity at least 10-20 mins each day. Physical activity can be your medicine. Take walks. Reduce long periods of inactivity, such as sitting. Explore the outdoors through hiking or biking. Try yoga. Depending on your current health and preferences, consider the best options available for you that will help you spend more time being active. Once you choose your preferences, set goals you can work to achieve. Get your friend or family members on board to help you stay accountable. Your heart health can improve while you encourage others to improve their health as well.
Stop smoking: As smoking is one of the most detrimental lifestyle habits that can impact your heart health, consider taking steps to quit. Don’t hesitate to share your concerns with your doctor and know we have a team of physicians and other healthcare professionals who are ready to help you on your path to improved health.
Maintain a normal weight: Another way you can reduce your risk of heart disease is by maintaining a normal weight. Your concerns may include dieting, meal planning, family history, and general health factors. As you share your concerns, your doctor can help you determine the best way forward, whether through lifestyle changes, surgery or other alternatives.
Know your cholesterol and blood pressure levels: Cholesterol and blood pressure levels can be a useful indicator of a patient’s risk for developing heart disease. Your doctor may recommend that you consider ways to reduce your cholesterol and or blood pressure levels through a change in your diet. A visit with your doctor is one of the best ways you can help determine your levels and take steps towards improving your heart health.
Talk to Your Doctor
Our team of Cardiologists can help you know your risk and provide recommendations for improving your heart health.
Do you have a heart related concern or question in mind? Give us a call and schedule an appointment today at #845.565.4400. Speak with one of Premier’s fantastic doctors and get the answers you seek.