Your heart is one of the most important organs in your body. You can’t live without it, so you should make sure yours is as healthy as possible. Here are four useful tips for keeping your heart healthy.
1. Work Closely With Your Doctors
Everyone should be seeing a primary care physician annually. Primary care physicians check your general health, including your blood pressure. People with chronic conditions or elevated risks for specific conditions, such as skin cancer, may also need to see specialists. If you are at risk for or have a heart condition, you should see a cardiac expert, such as Dr. Ian Weisberg, regularly.
2. Focus Your Diet and Fitness on Cardiovascular Health
While some people may require medications to regulate their heart health, many people benefit from simple dietary and fitness adjustments. If you have a heart condition, consult with your doctor about what dietary and fitness changes are best for your needs. In general, people can add more fiber, unsaturated fats and lean proteins to their diets while reducing their consumption of salt and saturated fats. Aerobic exercises, including jogging, swimming, hiking and playing sports can strengthen your heart and improve your cardiovascular health.
3. Review and Manage Your Personal Risks
Some people are more likely to develop heart disease than others, depending on their family histories and personal lifestyles. If one or more close family members have heart conditions, you may need to carefully monitor your heart for any suspicious changes. Smokers and former smokers have higher risk levels than non-smokers. Tell your doctor about your family and personal history so he or she can monitor your heart health appropriately. He or she can also use this information to recommend specialists you should see or lifestyle changes that can help you manage your risk.
4. Avoid Drinking Alcohol and Smoking
Drinking alcohol and smoking can both greatly increase your risk of developing heart disease. Avoiding these substances entirely or reducing your consumption of them can help you maintain or improve your overall heart health. While any amount of smoke inhalation can negatively impact your heart’s health, most doctors consider drinking alcohol in moderation to be relatively safe. Men should only have two alcoholic drinks per day on average and women should only have one.
Make sure you monitor your health at home and with your doctor. Build heart-healthy habits into your daily life, including dietary changes and aerobic exercise.