There’s no time like the present to show your heart some love.
According to the American Heart Association (AHA), heart disease is the No. 1 cause of death in the United States, killing over 370,000 Americans per year. More women than men die of heart disease, taking the lives of more woman than all forms of cancer combined. Fortunately, we can change that—80 percent of cardiac and stroke events may be prevented with education and action.
Heart disease is a term that covers several types of diseases of the heart, blood, arteries, and veins. Having heart disease can often result in heart failure, heart attack, stroke, or peripheral artery disease. The risks for developing heart disease include age, gender, family history, diet, blood pressure, level of cholesterol, diabetes, obesity, and stress.
To help you make the right choices, the AHA developed “My Life Check®” with the goal of improved health by educating the public on positive ways to live. These measures have these unique things in common. Any person can make these changes, the steps are not expensive to take, and even modest improvements to your health will make a big difference. Start with one or two.
1. Manage Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke. When your blood pressure stays within healthy ranges, you reduce the strain on your heart, arteries, and kidneys which keeps you healthier longer.
2. Control Cholesterol
High cholesterol contributes to plaque, which can clog arteries and lead to heart disease and stroke. When you control your cholesterol, you are giving your arteries their best chance to remain clear of blockages.
3. Reduce Blood Sugar
Most of the food we eat is turned into glucose (or blood sugar) that our bodies use for energy. Over time, high levels of blood sugar can damage your heart, kidneys, eyes and nerves.
4. Get Active
Living an active life is one of the most rewarding gifts you can give yourself and those you love. Simply put, daily physical activity increases your length and quality of life.
5. Eat Better
A healthy diet is one of your best weapons for fighting cardiovascular disease. When you eat a heart-healthy diet, you improve your chances for feeling good and staying healthy—for life!
6. Lose Weight
When you shed extra fat and unnecessary pounds, you reduce the burden on your heart, lungs, blood vessels and skeleton. You give yourself the gift of active living, you lower your blood pressure and you help yourself feel better, too.
7. Stop Smoking
Cigarette smokers have a higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease. If you smoke, quitting is the best thing you can do for your health.
8. Get Screened
Schedule your annual check-up to review your overall health. Your primary care physician can measure blood pressure, check cholesterol, and look for signs of heart disease, stroke and other illnesses.
Check Your Heart
With complete cardiology coverage throughout Eastern Idaho, the following cardiologists are always welcoming new patients: