Self-Care Strategies to Prevent Heart Disease

WellnessHeart disease is a common term for coronary artery disease and it is the number one cause of death in both men and women over the age of 60 in the United States. The month of February is dedicated to heart disease awareness. To be aware, you must know the causes of heart disease and the risk factors involved.

Heart disease is caused by a build-up of plaque in the arteries—which narrows, slows or blocks the flow of blood to the heart. Controllable risk factors include: high blood pressure, high LDL cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, smoking, obesity and lack of physical activity. There are treatments for heart disease but the most important treatment is self-care and prevention.

Following these healthy lifestyle tips will help prevent heart disease:

  • Get regular medical check-ups
  • Refrain from smoking
  • Maintain a healthy weight by dieting and exercising
  • Take medications as prescribed by your doctor
  • Limit sodium intake to 1,500 to 2,400 milligrams per day
  • Manage stress with relaxation techniques
  • Limit your alcohol intake

It is important to call your doctor if you begin to develop symptoms such as shortness of breath, dizziness, chest pain or discomfort, heart palpitations and weakness or fatigue. One in every four deaths in the United States is due to heart disease. With the odds so high, why not start taking measures to keep your heart healthy now?

Many employers now offer wellness programs. Take advantage of these to encourage and educate your co-workers on planning a healthy future. For more information on corporate wellness programs, contact an AssuredPartners NL Director of Health and Productivity.

Sources: Zywave, CDC

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