Six essential steps for preventing heart attacks

40392283_MDid you know that cardiovascular disease kills more people in America than all types of cancer combined? As the leading cause of death in the United States, cardiovascular disease is a health concern for many (as it should be). If you’re looking for ways to reduce your risk for heart issues like heart attacks, you’ve come to the right place. Here at Proactive Wellness Centers, preventing cardiovascular diseases is one of our biggest focuses, starting with these six steps.

1. Research your risk factors

Many heart conditions are genetic, so it’s extremely important to have an understanding of the medical history of your family. Reach out to your parents, grandparents, and even great-grandparents (if possible) to figure out if there are any heart issues that run in the family. Additionally, you can schedule an Advanced Cardiac Evaluation at Proactive Wellness Center. This one-of-a-kind program uses a combination of leading-edge biomarkers and diagnostic tools to provide you with a complete risk profile. Working with your doctor, you can use this risk profile to decide how to move forward with your heart health.

2. Eat a heart-healthy diet

What you choose to fuel your body with plays a huge role in your overall health, and that’s especially true in terms of heart health. There are three main components to a heart-healthy diet: less saturated fat, less sodium and more fresh produce. You can reduce your consumption of saturated fats by opting for lean protein sources (such as poultry). You can also use less butter and oil while cooking. It’s easy to reduce sodium intake by avoiding prepackaged and fast food. You can replace salty and fatty foods with fresh fruits and vegetables, which provide many of the essential nutrients that help your body fight off disease.

3. Get moving

Daily physical activity is one of the best ways you can keep your heart in tip-top shape. Experts recommend at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity a week is a good target for a healthy heart. One of the best tips is to find an activity you enjoy. If jogging isn’t your thing, try swimming or sign up for a dance class. If you really enjoy nature, you could take up hiking or mountain biking. Anything that gets your heart pounding is fair game! And if you’re currently sedentary, don’t worry about jumping straight into a tough exercise regime. Start out slow and work your way up to that 150 weekly minute recommendation.

4. Manage stress

Research has shown a connection between high levels of stress and strain on the heart. And, just to be clear, you shouldn’t turn to drugs or alcohol to manage the stress. Those vices can also cause heart problems. Better options for reducing stress include meditation, yoga, exercise, and socializing with friends and family. You could also take up a hobby that brings you happiness and helps you feel less stressed, like knitting, jogging or gardening.

5. See a specialist

If you truly want to be proactive about your heart health, scheduling an appointment with a preventative medicine specialist is a good idea. Preventative medicine specialists, like the ones here at Proactive Wellness Centers, will work with you directly to mitigate your risk factors

6. Get a CIMT

With medical technology improving every day, it’s important to take advantage of the preventative tools available to you. A CIMT, which stands for Caratoid Intima Media Thickness, examines the thickness of your artery walls and the amount of plaque found in your arteries. This helps medical professionals determine if you are at risk for cardiovascular diseases, far earlier than any other test. This non-invasive, cost-effective diagnostic tool only takes 10 minutes and could potentially help you discover heart issues before they’re irreversible.

Are you ready to take charge of your heart health? Schedule a preventative appointment with Proactive Wellness Centers today, and be sure to follow us on social media for more health and wellness tips.