There’s no getting around it: heart attacks are scary to experience, dangerous, and potentially lethal. Heart disease, the condition that commonly leads to heart attacks, is Americans' top cause of death.
The better news is, many factors that increase your risk of getting heart disease are in your control. By making simple lifestyle changes, you can dramatically lower your odds of experiencing a heart attack.
The team at Nguyen Medical Group in Boynton Beach, Florida, led by Thomas Nguyen, MD, recommends taking these 5 simple steps to reduce your risk of having a heart attack.
Causes of heart attacks
When you have blocked arteries that make it difficult to impossible for blood to reach your heart, you can experience a heart attack. Two of the top causes of this are high levels of fat and cholesterol in your arteries.
You’re more likely to get a heart attack if you have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or heart disease. Being a smoker, male, older, and living a sedentary lifestyle also increases your risk.
5 ways to prevent heart attacks
Not all risk factors for heart attacks are preventable, but many of them are. Making these 5 straightforward changes will help your heart pump efficiently and effectively for many years to come.
1. Quit smoking
Smoking is extremely dangerous for your heart, and being a smoker significantly increases your risk of developing heart disease, as well as having a heart attack if you already have heart disease. It’s also risky to live with or spend long periods of time with another person who smokes.
Quitting smoking isn’t easy, but our team is here to support you and your close loved ones in quitting by referring you to tools and support that work.
2. Eat a heart healthy diet
A healthy diet is good for your heart, maintaining and attaining low cholesterol and blood pressure, and keeping a healthy weight. Eating a diet low in fat, salt, and alcohol, while high in healthy foods, is ideal for your heart.
Try to eat moderate portions of vegetables, fruit, whole grains, and lean cuts of fish, meat, and poultry as a cornerstone of your diet. Non tropical oils and nuts are good sources of healthy, unsaturated fats.
3. Live an active lifestyle
Getting and staying active keeps your heart strong and vigorous. About 250 minutes of moderate exercise, or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise, is the minimum to keep your health in top shape.
If you’re currently inactive, our team can help create a safe fitness routine that gets you back into shape. An exercise as simple as brisk walking is great for your heart.
4. Manage chronic conditions
Chronic health issues like heart disease and diabetes put you at higher risk of having a heart attack. By following our team’s treatment protocol and effectively managing any chronic conditions you have, you’re much less likely to have a heart attack.
5. Lower your stress levels
Even when you’re otherwise taking care of yourself, experiencing high levels of stress can cause strain on your heart that can lead to a heart attack. We can support you in learning techniques to manage stress when it occurs in your life and reduce the overall stress levels you experience day to day.
With the proper healthy lifestyle and support, you can avoid heart attacks and live a healthy, active life. For support with heart disease or a related condition, contact us to make an appointment with our team.