It is difficult to radically change your lifestyle overnight, but you can improve certain habits that have the potential to make a real difference when it comes to preventing a heart attack. Numerous research has shown that certain lifestyle and diet changes, which are relatively easy to introduce into daily life, are very effective. You do not need to follow a strict diet, just remember: everything in moderation. Be proactive and reduce your risk of a heart attack!
Here is some advice approved by cardiologists:
1. Check Your Blood Pressure and Cholesterol Levels Regularly
High blood pressure and hyperlipidemia (high cholesterol) are two major risk factors for a heart attack and are simple to check, either at home with a kit or by a healthcare professional. Get checked now!
2. Healthy Eating
Stop thinking about what you cannot eat and instead be inspired a Mediterranean diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables, grains, and olive oil, with a moderate intake of fish, poultry, and dairy products. Try steaming food rather than cooking with butter and frying. To have the best chance of success, choose organic food products, and try to introduce lasting changes and maintain healthy eating habits. If necessary, get advice and support from a nutritionist. Avoid eating red meat, animal fat, and fatty foods in general, such as cured meat and pre-prepared meals.
If you are overweight, speak to a professional about losing weight. Being overweight is a major risk factor for heart attacks and other heart problems.
3. Get Moving
Being physically inactive can increase your risk of having a heart attack. Walking is one of the easiest ways to be more active, even after living a sedentary lifestyle for many years. Regular exercise is important because it can further increase the positive effects of physical activity. Aim for at least some type of physical activity five days a week or ideally every day, if possible. If you have a busy schedule, take every opportunity to get moving, for example, take the stairs instead of the elevator, walk instead of using your car for short trips, and fit walks into your free time. Vary your activities, your heart will thank you for it!
4. Quit Smoking
Smoking triples the risk of dying from a heart attack or another heart disease. It does not matter if you only smoke a little, some cigarettes are already enough to increase your risk of a heart attack and quitting is the best thing you can do for your heart.
In addition to the risk of serious medical conditions, smoking also affects your cardiorespiratory response to exercise, with less oxygen being delivered to your organs and muscles. In women, smoking also cancels out the protective role that sex hormones play against the risk of cardiovascular disease up to the menopause.
It is never too late to stop smoking and you will notice the benefits quickly: after one year, the risk of a heart attack is halved.
5. Drink Alcohol in Moderation
A small glass of red wine has long been thought of as heart healthy. Despite this popular belief, we now know that drinking too much alcohol is a risk factor for high blood pressure and therefore heart disease.
As a result, professionals who specialize in preventing heart disease have adapted their views and now confirm that it is best not to drink alcohol at all. Moreover, giving up alcohol has many known health benefits. However, if this is not an option for you, try to drink in moderation. It goes without saying that recreational drugs are also bad for your heart.
6. Set Limits to Reduce Stress
Some people struggle with feeling overwhelmed by work and/or family commitments. However, stress is often linked to heart attack patients. The role of the human psyche plays such a key role that a whole new discipline has been created: psychocardiology. The American Heart Association (AHA) believes depression is a risk factor after a heart attack, and stress may account for almost a third of heart attacks.