Having a healthy heart goes a long way toward contributing to your long-term health. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control, heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S. with around 610,000 people dying of heart disease every year. While these staggering numbers can paint a picture of gloom, the reality is that you can take control of your heart health by simply improving a few areas of your lifestyle.
As your primary care physician in Bee Cave, we are here to help you achieve good health. If you are concerned about your heart’s health, we invite you to visit our doctors for a quick exam. We can help you put together a plan for a healthy heart.
Check out these tips for improving the health of your heart and visit us soon.
#1: Quit Smoking
If you smoke, now is the time to focus on a smoking cessation plan. Whether this means joining a community of friends who are looking to kick the habit or visiting our clinic for assistance with your plan, quitting will go a long way toward improving your heart’s health.
While we often associate smoking with lung disease — which is also true — smoking is actually one of the number one causes of coronary heart disease. Only one year after you quit smoking, your risk of having a heart attack is half of that of a smoker.
There are a lot of good reasons to quit smoking, but protecting your heart is high on that list. Make a commitment to giving up cigarettes and give your heart a better chance at long-term health.
#2: Choose 30 Minutes Of Activity A Day
Another simple but highly effective tactic you can take for improving your heart’s health is to commit to 30 minutes of activity at least five days a week. This could be something as little as going for an evening walk or it could be joining a fitness class.
Activity will not only make your heart stronger, but it will also improve your mental well-being, lowering your levels of stress. This, in turn, improves your heart’s health even more as stress is a major contributor to disease. Find a simple activity that you enjoy and stick to it. As time goes on, this daily 30 minutes of exercise will become second nature.
#3: Opt For Heart-Healthy Foods
What you eat plays a major role in the health of your heart. One common misconception is that if you aren’t overweight, it doesn’t matter what you eat. Just because your body doesn’t show you outward results of chowing down on a cheeseburger, it doesn’t mean the inside of your body isn’t suffering.
Avoid foods that are high in saturated fat. This can cause your cholesterol levels to rise, which increases your chance of heart disease. Opt for leaner meats, foods high in fiber, and decrease the amount of salt you consume each day.
A great way to contribute to a healthy heart and a healthy mind is by implementing more leafy greens and fruits into your diet. Opt for a big salad at lunch or the addition of fruits and veggies into your evening meal.
#4: Manage Your Weight
When you are carrying excess weight, it is extremely hard on your body, particularly your heart. Find out from your doctor if you are in a healthy weight range. If you are not, focus on a plan for weight loss that is sustainable. This could be through a combination of improving your diet, exercising more, and getting better rest. Make sure that your plan for losing weight is a lifestyle change, not just a fad diet or exercise trend.
Long-term weight management will keep your heart healthy and avoid excess strain on this vital organ. Not only that, but keeping your weight in a healthy range will also help guard your joints against damage from carrying extra pounds.
#5: Visit Your Doctor Every Year
While you can do your very best to contribute to a healthy heart, the reality is that sometimes your genetics work against you. The best way to monitor your heart’s health is by visiting your doctor at least once a year. During your annual exam, your physician can check up on how your heart is doing. They can give you extra tips and advice on how you can keep your heart healthy and strong based on your unique body factors.
As is true with all things health related, it is far better to be ahead of any issues rather than catching them down the road. Many heart problems can be handled easily if they are caught early on. Knowledge is powerful so be sure you are visiting your family physician at least once a year.
Visit Us At Hill Family Medicine
Are you concerned about the health of your heart? Take action today! As your local Austin / Bee Cave primary care physician, we are here to help you keep your heart healthy and strong. We can work with you to determine how healthy your heart is currently and what steps you should take to contribute to the long-term health of your entire body. We believe in empowering our patients with the knowledge and resources they need to take control of their health. Set up an appointment today and focus on healthy living.