February 2, 2016
Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States. In recognition of February being National Heart Month, I wanted to share some tips to lower your risk of developing heart disease.
- Quit smoking (!!!) or don’t start in the first place: Surprise, surprise – a doctor is mentioning smoking yet again. Smoking increases your risk of heart disease by raising your blood pressure, decreasing your exercise tolerance, and increasing the likelihood that your blood will clot. If you need quit-smoking tips, check out my Youtube video.
- Make control your goal: In other words control your blood pressure. Uncontrolled blood pressure is THE NUMBER 1 cause of heart disease and stroke. People with high blood pressure are 4 times more likely to die from a stroke and 3 times more likely to die from heart disease compared to those with normal blood pressure. Get your blood pressure controlled by knowing your goal blood pressure, taking your medications correctly, and reducing your sodium (salt) intake.
- Exercise: Increase your activity levels to reduce your risk of heart disease. Most current exercise guidelines from the CDC and the United States Department of Health and Human Services recommend moderate-intensity aerobic exercise for 150 minutes every week AND muscle-strengthening activities involving all major muscle groups at least two days per week, OR vigorous-intensity aerobic exercise for 75 minutes every week AND muscle-strengthening activities involving all major muscle groups at least two days per week, OR an equivalent mix of moderate-intensity and vigorous-intensity aerobic exercise AND muscle-strengthening activities involving all major muscle groups at least two days per week.
You have doctors standing by to help with any or all of these tips. You just need to make the call.
Micah Dickey, DO