Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Lower Your Risk Of Heart Disease!

Heart Disease is the leading cause of death for Americans. While some factors such as age and family history can’t be changed, there are several ways you can lower your risk for heart disease. The following are 8 ways you can get heart healthy:

Control Blood PressureMake sure your blood pressure is under 140/90 mm Hg. If your systolic pressure (the top number) is over 140, ask your doctor what you can do to lower it.
Control Cholesterol: Saturated and Trans fat in your diet can raise cholesterol. Limit foods high in cholesterol. Have your cholesterol check at least annually and take medication if needed. Desirable total blood cholesterol level should be less than 200mg/dL; Borderline-High Risk is 200-239 mg/DL, and High Risk 240 mgdL. Furthermore, there’s good cholesterol (HDL) and bad cholesterol (LDL). To reduce heart disease, maintain high levels of HDL (>40mg/dL men, >50mg/dL women) and low levels of LDL (<100mg aria-haspopup="true" class="goog-spellcheck-word" id=":z.10" role="menuitem" span="" style="background: yellow;" tabindex="-1">dl
="">Manage Diabetes: Individuals with diabetes are at higher risk of developing heart disease. If you have diabetes, follow your doctor's orders control and management.
Don't Smoke: Smoking more than doubles your risk for heart disease. For some this is easier said than done, but there are resources available at your doctor's office as well as the Internet. Sites like SmokeFree offers resources and a guide on how to quit smoking.

Get Active: Regular exercise 3-4 times a week for a minimum of 30 minutes a day strengthens the heart, reduces stress, manage weight, and provides energy. Regular aerobic exercises can include walking, swimming, jogging, biking, housework, and gardening.

Maintain A Healthy Weight: Excess weight will strain the heart. Keep weight under control by getting active, healthy eating habits, and reducing stress (noticing a trend).
Body mass index (BMI) is a measure of body fat based on height and weight that applies to both adult men and women. Click on the link below to input your information to access your risk and determine a healthy weight goal for your body type.
BMI Calculator
Eat Healthy:Choose My Plate offers personalized eating plans, interactive tools to help you plan and assess your food choices, and advice to help you make smart choices from every food group, find your balance between food and physical activity, get the most nutrition out of your calories, and stay within your daily calorie needs.
Manage stress: Don't sweat the small stuff! Stress increases your blood pressure and heart rate.
Have a Cardiac Disease Risk Assessment: Consult your doctor about your personal risk for heart disease and stroke. Follow his/her advice for health test, lifestyle changes, medications, and other therapy.

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