It’s the New Year, which means there’s a lot of New Year’s Resolutions being made. One of best New Year’s Resolutions you can make for yourself is to get serious about your health. You don’t have to swear off all junk food or never drink coffee again, but now is a great time to make some lifestyle changes, so you can be heart healthy this year. Studies have shown that half of heart disease deaths are caused by modifiable risk factors that people can control. Since your health is in your hands, it’s time to take charge and help your heart stay strong in 2018.
In this article, we share with you some lifestyle habits to pick up that will help you live a healthier life.
- Keep your weight in check – Talk with your doctor about what the healthy or ideal weight range is for someone your height, age, and gender. Try to keep between 18-25 on the BMI (body mass index) scale. A high BMI correlates to excess body fat, which is associated with a higher risk of heart disease.
- Eat healthy – One way to keep your weight in check is to eat healthy. This doesn’t mean your diet should be “perfect,” but you should focus on nutritious food sources. Choose fruit, vegetables, lean meats, low/non-fat dairy products, nuts, whole grains, and keep the sugar, sodium, processed foods, and alcohol to a minimum.
- Exercise – Exercising is also another way to keep your weight in check. Aim for either 150 minutes of moderate intensity of exercise each week or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity. The more you exercise, the more you reduce your chances of dying from heart disease.
- Sleep – Getting 7 to 9 hours of sleep helps in lowering a person’s risk of heart disease.
- Quit smoking – Tobacco smoke is responsible for 30 percent of heart disease deaths in the United States each year.
- Monitor blood pressure – High blood pressure is the leading cause of death around the world and a risk factor of heart disease. Lower blood pressure leads people to live longer lives. Find out where your blood pressure should be numerically, and keep an eye on it, whether at home or with your doctor. If you need to be on blood pressure medication, take it!
- Drink plenty of water – Higher intakes of water have correlated with lower risk of heart disease.
- Get the influenza vaccine – This vaccine is encouraged for people with heart disease and heart failure; it is known to offer protection against atrial fibrillation.
- Stress less – Find ways to reduce stress. Heart disease is often associated with stressful life events.
If you suffer from heart disease, it’s time to talk to a heart valve surgeon about your options. Dr. Peter Mikhail is a heart valve surgeon who specializes in mitral valve surgery and TAVR. To book a consult, click here or call 727-312-4844. He is based in New Port Richey, Florida, and treats patients in the Tampa and Clearwater areas.