How Do I Protect Myself From Heart Disease?
Schedule a visit with your doctor
Visit the Saal Family Cardiovascular Center at Mount Auburn Hospital or ask a Mount Auburn Hospital Primary Care Physician to determine your risk for heart disease and design a plan to keep your heart healthy.
Add exercise to your daily routine
Getting regular, daily exercise can reduce your risk of heart disease. And when you combine physical activity with other lifestyle measures, such as maintaining a healthy weight, the payoff is even greater.
Try to do 30 minutes of moderate exercise, such as walking at a brisk pace, swimming or strength training, for about 30 minutes 5 days a week
Eat Healthy and Manage your Weight
Eating a healthy diet- one rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains can protect your heart and help you manage your weight and can reduce your chances of developing conditions that may put a strain on your heart, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes.
The Weight Management Center at Mount Auburn Hospital can help you manage your weight and diet.
A smoker’s risk of developing heart disease is much higher than that of nonsmokers. A Primary Care Physician can help you come up with plan to quit smoking
Managing stress can help reduce or manage certain risk factor for heart disease. There are many ways you can manage your stress and the clinicians at Mount Auburn’s Behavioral Health center can help.
What are the risk factors for heart disease?
- Age. Aging increases your risk of damaged and narrowed arteries and weakened or thickened heart muscle.
- Family history. A family history of heart disease increases your risk of coronary artery disease, especially if a parent developed it at an early age (before age 55 for a male relative, such as your brother or father, and 65 for a female relative, such as your mother or sister).
- Smoking. Nicotine constricts your blood vessels, and carbon monoxide can damage their inner lining, making you more susceptible to a heart attack.
- A bad diet. A diet that's high in fat, salt, sugar and cholesterol can contribute to the development of heart disease.
- High blood pressure. Uncontrolled high blood pressure can result in hardening and thickening of your arteries, narrowing the vessels through which blood flows.
- High blood cholesterol levels. High levels of cholesterol in your blood can increase the risk of formation of plaques and atherosclerosis.
- Diabetes. Diabetes increases your risk of heart disease. Both conditions share similar risk factors, such as obesity and high blood pressure.
- Obesity. Excess weight typically worsens other risk factors.
- Physical inactivity. Lack of exercise also is associated with many forms of heart disease and some of its other risk factors, as well.
- Stress. Unrelieved stress may damage your arteries and worsen other risk factors for heart disease.