5 Lifestyle Habits to Protect Your Heart
Did you know heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States?It’s true. About 610,000 people die of heart disease every year. Even though it’s highly preventable by adopting Low-Sodium Diet and healthy lifestyle habits, it’s still a major problem. For example:
- 1 in 4 of all deaths in the U.S. are caused by heart disease
- 735,000 first-time heart attacks occur each year
- Every 20 seconds, someone in the U.S. has a heart attack
- Every 2 minutes, someone dies of a heart attack
- 75 million adults in the U.S. have high blood pressure, a major risk factor for heart disease
Are you at risk for heart disease? About 50 percent of all adults in the U.S. have at least one major risk factor for heart disease: high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or tobacco use.
It’s no secret that preventing heart disease is better than waiting for symptoms to appear to do something about it. You may already have heart disease if you’re experiencing:
- Chest and shoulder pain
- Sleep-related problems
- Difficulty with sexual function
- Irregular heartbeat
- Poor oral health
- Swelling in the legs and feet
- Fatigue and/or shortness of breath
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
- Persistent cough
- Unexplained cold sweats
Wondering what you can do to lower your risk for heart disease? Your lifestyle habits can have a major impact on your heart and your health. And now is always the best time to start.
Here are five ways to improve your heart health:
- Don’t smoke or use tobacco. If you do, get help to quit.
- Get your blood pressure checked. If it’s elevated or high, talk to your doctor about medication and lifestyle habits to control it.
- Exercise 30 to 60 minutes a day. Go for a walk. Hit the gym. Ride a bike. Swim. Even working in the hard can strengthen your heart, lungs, and muscles.
- Avoid or limit alcohol
- Follow a Low-Sodium Friendly Diet. Most adults consume about 3,400 mg of sodium or more per day. But health experts recommend about 1,500 mg of sodium per day. Too much sodium contributes to high blood pressure, which damages the heart and blood vessels and contributes to other problems.
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