Heart disease, also known as coronary heart disease (CHD) and coronary artery disease, occurs then plaque builds up in the arteries blocking or slowing the blood flow and flow of oxygen. A coronary artery is simply a blood vessel that carries blood to the heart. These arteries are shaped like narrow tubes. Plaque is a fatty substance that builds up in the arteries. This slows and can even stop the blood flow to the heart, creating a dangerous health condition. This can cause angina and even heart attack.
Heart disease does not discriminate. It can affect men as well as women. In some cases it may be hereditary or it may develop over a period of years. Heart disease can also come with advancing age as plaque builds up in the arteries over many years. People who are overweight, diabetic or have high blood pressure are also at a great risk as well as those who have high cholesterol. Heart disease, though, can also come from smoking, excessive drinking of alcoholic beverages, eating a diet high in fat and sugars and leading a sedentary lifestyle. This is why it is important to make healthy choices and refrain from activities that can be potentially harmful.
Here are seven tips for reducing your risk of heart disease. By following these guidelines, you can possibly prevent your chances of getting heart disease completely.
1. Don’t smoke – Nicotine increases your blood pressure. When you smoke, the nicotine you inhale into your system stimulates the release of adrenaline. This, in turn, causes your blood vessels to constrict and your heart beats faster.
2. Don’t drink – Drinking alcohol also causes your blood vessels to constrict and your heart beats faster. However, certain alcoholic beverages, such as red wine, have been shown to contain licopene which actually aids the body in preventing heart disease.
3. Maintain a healthy diet – Eating a diet that is low in saturated fats and cholesterol will increase your chances of preventing heart disease. Your body actually turns saturated fats into cholesterol so you want to avoid it as much as you can. Fresh fruits and vegetables are great to add to your diet as well as foods that are not processed and have no preservatives and are low in sodium.
4. Exercise regularly – Engaging in regular exercise can strengthen your heart and lower your risk of heart disease. Even something as simple as walking can be beneficial. It can also help to lower your blood pressure. However, before you start any exercise regimen, check with your doctor to make sure it is OK for you to exercise.
5. Control your blood pressure – If you have high blood pressure or are pre-hypertensive, you should ask your doctor for suggestions on how to lower it. Then heed your doctor’s advice.
6. If you are diabetic or pre-diabetic, keep it in check – If you are diabetic take care of yourself. Make sure that you maintain a proper diet and exercise regularly. If you are pre-diabetic, follow your doctor’s advice on preventing your condition from becoming full-blown diabetes.
7. See your doctor regularly – Get regular checkups and make sure that you stay on top of any health concerns. Additionally, if you are at risk for heart disease, you may want to talk to your doctor about taking a low dose of aspirin each day.