Are you aware that in the U.S., the top cause of death is heart disease? Did you also know that you could be at risk for developing it and not even know it? Fortunately, heart-friendly behaviors can significantly decrease your risk of heart disease while preventing other health problems like certain cancers and diabetes.
Aside from routine heart checks with your cardiologist here at Cardiovascular Diagnostic Center, APMC, Dr. Virginia Gonzalez, in our Winnsboro LA or West Monroe LA offices, here are some no-nonsense ways to help keep your heart in tiptop condition.
Know Your Heart Disease Risk Factors
The primary heart disease risk factors include smoking, high levels of cholesterol, and high blood pressure. It’s also crucial to talk to your cardiologist and family to find out which diseases you have that may put you at risk of developing heart disease.
Sit Less and Move More
You should get in a minimum of 150 minutes weekly of moderately intense aerobic exercise and muscle-strengthening workouts for two or more days per week. Your West Monroe LA and Winnsboro LA cardiologist highly recommends it.
Go On a Heart-Friendly Diet
In a nutshell, your diet should consist of more veggies, fruits, nuts, whole grains, low-fat dairy items, and lean meats. Eat less added sugars, saturated fats, salt, and processed foods.
Monitor Your Blood Cholesterol Levels
High bad cholesterol or LDL levels in the blood don’t present any symptoms or warning signs but results in fatty accumulation in your arteries, which could then result in stroke or a heart attack. Your cardiologist in our Winnsboro LA or West Monroe LA practice will advise you on how to keep your bad cholesterol level down and amp up your good or HDL cholesterol level, which may include eating right and/or medications that lower bad cholesterol levels.
As previously mentioned, this is among the top risk factors for heart disease so quit smoking right now. If you find quitting the habit challenging, talk to your cardiologist for smoking cessation advice.
Manage Your Blood Pressure Levels
Like high blood cholesterol, high blood pressure, also called hypertension, typically doesn't present warning signs so you need to get your levels checked regularly. If your doctor diagnoses you with hypertension, you’ll need to keep track of it more frequently, cut the salt in your diet, and take blood pressure-reducing medication.
Always Take Your Medicines as Instructed
If you’re taking any medications for hypertension, high cholesterol, and other diseases, follow your Winnsboro LA and West Monroe LA doctor's directions. Likewise, don’t just stop taking them without your doctor’s advice.
For More Details on Keeping Your Heart Healthy, Give Us a Call
Dial (318) 338-3540 to set up an appointment with your cardiologist, Dr. Virginia Gonzalez, here at the Cardiovascular Diagnostic Center, APMC, in Winnsboro, LA, or West Monroe, LA.