When we last left off, we had gone over two tips that should help keep cardiovascular problems from rearing their ugly heads. Below you’ll see four more healthy suggestions that should also help: -
3—Tip number two referenced exercise helping to maintain a healthy weight. Speaking of keeping your weight down, doing so will make your heart very happy. Being overweight or obese can mean an increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease. Doctors often use body mass index, or BMI, to determine if you are in a healthy weight range or if you may need to lose some weight. Some also use waist circumference. If you are overweight or obese, using the old-fashioned combination of “move a little more, eat a little less” can work wonders to bring the numbers down on the scale.
4—If you smoke, please stop. And if you don’t, please don’t start. Many studies have linked cigarette smoking and other tobacco products to an increased risk of heart disease. I know that trying to quit smoking can be extremely difficult, but of the people I know who have done it I don’t know anyone who has ever regretted it. Consulting with your physician for ideas on how to go about it is a good place to start.
5—Limit the amount of alcohol you drink. Although small amounts of certain forms of alcohol like red wine have been found in some studies to be good for the heart, in general drinking alcohol may lead to high blood pressure.
6—Know your numbers. Your cholesterol and blood pressure numbers that is. The CDC website suggests that we should all have our cholesterol checked at least once every five years. My primary care physician prefers a yearly test. Knowing what your cholesterol levels are and the “good” and “bad” types you have is extremely important. If the numbers are high, in many cases, a combination of diet and exercise can help bring them back down to healthy levels. Blood pressure should also be checked regularly. Most supermarkets even have blood pressure machines by their pharmacies so keeping tabs on your readings should not be that difficult to do. Since high blood pressure has no symptoms it’s important to get it checked on a regular basis.