What you can do to Reduce Your Risk of Heart Disease

Here are the top five Heart Health tips recommended by the physicians at Saint Vincent Medical Group:

  1. Get moving!
    There is no pill or other thing that is better than raising your level of activity. The American Heart Association guidelines recommend 30 to 60 minutes of exercise every day. That’s almost impossible for most people, so try and get at least 30 minutes of physical activity five days a week. Walk around the block before or after work, go for a walk during lunch, climb the stairs instead of taking the elevator, park farther away from the grocery store. Little things add up.
  2. Watch what you eat.
    No fried greasy foods. Eat five servings of fruits and vegetables every day. Eat more natural fibers like oatmeal and baked of grilled fish rather than red meat. Take omega 3 fish oil.
  3. Get good quality sleep, rest and relaxation.
    Get your eight hours of sleep every night. If you are overtired even with plenty of sleep, find out if you may have sleep apnea. Take more vacations but short ones. We are all over stimulated. Disconnect and get off the grid when you take vacations. No cell phone, laptop iPad or TV. Instead take good books and decompress.
  4. Know your risk factors and don’t ignore them.
    Don’t smoke, and if you do, get help quitting. Know your blood pressure and cholesterol and if high, take measures to manage it. Know if you have diabetes and monitor your levels to regulate it. If you have a family history of heart disease, find a cardiologist who can work with you and help you monitor your heart health.
  5. Check your heart health early/See your doctor regularly.
    Between the ages of 40 and 45 most people should have their risk factors for heart disease checked with a physician that you trust. Seeing a primary care physician yearly can help prevent heart disease before it sneaks up on you.