The heart is one of the most vital organs in the body, which means keeping it healthy is important to a person’s overall health. However, many people are at risk of developing heart conditions, so knowing how to protect your heart is equally important. Here are four things you need to know about keeping your heart healthy.
1. Check Your Risk Level
Everyone has a base risk level for heart disease. Many people have very low levels of risk. However, certain factors can increase your risk of developing heart conditions. You may have a family history of heart and cardiovascular disease or a congenital defect in your heart. Certain activities and lifestyle choices can also impact your heart’s overall health. These include excessive smoking or alcohol intake, poor diet and limited levels of exercise.
2. See Your Healthcare Providers Regularly
Heart health and overall health can greatly impact each other, so it’s important that you see your healthcare providers regularly. Get your annual physical and vaccinations. See your eye doctor and dentist at regular intervals. If you see a specialist or have a therapist, make sure you also attend those appointments regularly. If you’re diagnosed with a heart condition, then you should make appointments with one or more specialists, such as Ian Weisberg, to monitor and treat it.
3. Take Preventive Action
Even people with elevated risk levels can take action to improve their overall heart health. Develop an exercise routine that includes a minimum of two and a half hours of moderately intense aerobic activity per week. Reduce your alcohol and salt intake while increasing the amount of fiber, unsaturated fats and lean protein in your diet. Get your cholesterol levels and blood pressure tested regularly. Be sure to also manage your mental health, because increased levels and prolonged periods of stress can strain your heart.
4. Manage Any Current Medical Conditions Appropriately
Certain chronic and acute conditions, and their treatment options, can impact your heart’s health. These include autoimmune diseases such as lupus, sleep apnea, severe anxiety and diabetes. Follow your doctor’s treatment instructions and keep your heart’s health in mind. Work with your doctor to modify your treatment plan and see cardiac specialists as needed.
Remember to talk to your doctors about any concerns you have about your heart health and overall health. They can help you determine if something is wrong and if you need to see a specialist.