More than 800,000 Americans have heart attacks every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Fortunately, you can reduce your heart attack risk by making a few changes in your life and visiting your West Monroe and Winnsboro, LA, cardiologist, Dr. Virginia Gonzalez of Cardiovascular Diagnostic Center.
Eat healthy foods
Avoiding foods high in saturated or trans fats has important benefits for your heart health. Eating a diet that's high in these types of fats can lower your "good" cholesterol level, raise your "bad" cholesterol level and even increase your risk of diabetes. Cook with healthier fats, like canola or olive oil, and limit the number of fried foods, bacon, red meat, bacon, hot dogs, potato chips, cakes, cookies, and other sugary treats you eat.
Pay attention to the scale
Your heart attack risk rises with your weight. If you're overweight or obese, now is the perfect time to shed those extra pounds. Although you'll lose weight quickly with fad diets, a moderate approach to weight loss is best. Eating a heart-healthy diet, following portion size recommendations, and exercising regularly is the best way to lose weight and keep it off.
Exercise strengthens your heart, improves your circulation, lowers your blood pressure, and helps you keep your weight and cholesterol under control. You don't have to participate in a formal exercise program to benefit. Any type of exercise that increases your heart rate will help you avoid a heart attack. Brisk walking, swimming, running, dance classes, or sports can help you protect your heart.
Check your blood pressure
High blood pressure is another heart attack risk factor. Your blood pressure is too high if it's 130/80 or higher. Since high blood pressure doesn't usually produce any noticeable symptoms, it's a good idea to schedule a blood pressure screening in West Monroe or Winnsboro at least once a year. If your pressure is too high, weight loss, a healthier diet, stress reduction, or medication may be helpful.
Make stress reduction a priority
Although it may be impossible to avoid stress completely, reducing your stress level can help your heart. Making time for stress-relieving activities, like meditation, yoga, exercise, hobbies, and favorite activities, can help you relax.
Are you concerned about your heart health? Call your cardiologist in West Monore and Winnsboro, LA, Dr. Virginia Gonzalez of Cardiovascular Diagnostic Center, at (318) 338-3540 to schedule an appointment.