Keeping your heart healthy is everything, and did you know that a full 80% of premature heart disease and stroke can be prevented? It’s true and with odds like that, wouldn’t you like to know what you can do to decrease your risk? While we all think that we know what to do to maintain a healthy heart, do we actually all do those things? Changing just a few of the things we do each day can have a great benefit to our heart, and keeping that healthy and happy goes a long way to our well being. Who’s in?
If you’ve ever been to an ER with chest pain, you know one of the first questions they ask you is if you smoke. Not only does it smell bad, cost a lot of money and make you sick, smoking is one of the top risk factors for both heart attack and stroke. Not surprisingly then, one of the top things to do to increase your heart health is to ditch the cigarettes!
Other things on that list are proper weight management, limiting calories, exercise, maintaining a healthy blood pressure, reducing stress, monitor your cholesterol levels and of course, know the risks.
Simply, the risk factors for having a stroke, in addition to smoking is high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, age, family history, taking birth control pills, a prior heart attack, heart failure and excessive drinking of alcohol.
Similarly, the risk factors for a heart attack are again, high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels, diabetes, hormone replacement therapy, smoking and not getting enough exercise.
Imagine how much ‘heart’ healthier we would be if we exercised more, watched what we ate, kept a close check on our blood pressure and cholesterol levels and tried to maintain a healthier lifestyle.
Sometimes, even when we try really hard, heart attacks and strokes happen. If you experience sudden weakness or numbness in face or limbs, if you have a sudden severe headache, difficulty talking or understanding speech, sudden dimness in one eye or unexplained dizziness you may be having a stroke.
If you have chest discomfort, pressure, pain, squeezing or a discomfort in your arms, back, neck, jaw, stomach, shortness of breath, nausea, lightheadedness or you break out into a cold sweat you may be having a heart attack. In both instances seek medical attention right away, it just may save your life!