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Your heart is the most important muscle in your body, and the choices you make affect your heart health every day.
Even with the recent surge in popularity of health and fitness, it’s still a startling statistic that heart disease is the number one killer in the United States. Over 790,000 people die each year from heart disease, and most of the causes are preventable. A healthy lifestyle can reduce your risk of heart disease by up to 50%, even in people who have a family history of heart disease. Making healthy choices is well worth it!
If you’re here on FitFluential, that means you already have an interest in finding your fitness and becoming healthier. That’s a great place to start! Now, what else can you do to take charge of your heart health? According to Consumer Reports, you have way more control over your heart health than you think. Consumer Reports is a non-profit, independent organization that provides unbiased information for consumers on everything from washing machines to how to take care of your heart!
Step 1: Eat a healthy diet
We already mentioned this, but it’s worth mentioning again. A healthy lifestyle is the first and foremost method of prevention for heart disease. Doctors suggest focusing on your overall diet pattern, rather than eating a certain number of calories. Focus on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and beans for a heart healthy diet. Cut down on sugar and consume a plant-based diet, and you’ll see your risk reduce by up to 30%.
Step 2: Go the holistic route
High blood pressure or cholesterol doesn’t necessarily mean you need medication. Statins and medications are often over-prescribed, when decreasing unhealthy levels can be done naturally. Smoking, high alcohol consumption, carrying excess weight, eating poorly, and having high blood sugar levels all contribute to high levels of blood pressure or cholesterol. IF YOU’RE DOCTOR SAYS IT’S OK AND YOU’RE NOT AT HIGH RISK, before starting medication, re-evaluate your lifestyle and see what changes you can make. Give it six months, and if your symptoms still show, consider a doctor-prescribed medication.
Step 3: Get tested
Keeping tabs on your heart is important, and certain medical tests can provide a lot of insight into your heart health. Everyone should get their blood pressure measured regularly, and many need to get their cholesterol level, too. And electrocardiogram, or EKG, provides information about your heartbeat and can detect anything out of the ordinary. This is useful if you feel chest pain or have a history of heart disease and are starting to exercise. The best way to treat heart disease is to catch it early on, so if you feel any type of cardiovascular stress, contact a medical professional. To find a trusted hospital near you, use this guide from Consumer Reports.
Your heart health is in your own hands! Learn the information you need to live a heart-healthy lifestyle from a trusted, unbiased source. Consumer Reports is non-profit organization that is independent of corporate and advertising influence, so they won’t just tell you what the pharmaceutical companies want you to hear. Instead, they aim to create a fairer, safer, and healthier marketplace by putting research, facts and data at the center of everything they do.
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