Heart disease is the leading killer of both men and women in the United States, causing about 1 in 4 deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Key risk factors for developing heart disease include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes, as well as using tobacco. You can prevent the inception of heart disease in many ways — and keep it from declining if you have been diagnosed. Here are a few ways we can manage this:
Monitor Your Weight
Carrying too much weight is a key risk factor for heart disease, and it affects most Americans. According to the CDC, 74 percent of U.S. adults are overweight, including nearly 43 percent who are obese. Obesity also increases the risk for other health problems related to heart disease, like stroke and diabetes
Get Regular Exercise
The American Heart Association recommends getting at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous physical activity per week. Staying fit can improve your heart health in countless ways, such as helping to lower blood pressure, manage your weight, control your blood sugar, and even reduce and manage stress.
Smoking by itself is a major risk factor for heart disease, and when it's combined with other risk factors, such as high cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, and obesity, it further raises the risk of heart disease. Smoking damages the cells that line the arteries, increases blood clotting, and increases your blood pressure and heart rate.
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