Written By: Michelle Howard – Edited By: Brenda McGee, Kyle Kizziah, and Haley Nix
Heart Disease is one of the most common causes of death in the United States, and is in fact, the leading cause of death in African American and white women due to the symptoms that present themselves differently among the different sexes. Furthermore, one person dies every 36 seconds in the United States from heart disease.
That means that about 10 people will have died from a form of heart disease by the time you finish reading this blog. If these statistics are not enough to get you to take your heart seriously, I am not sure what will.
There are so many different types of heart disease, but the leading controllable causes are high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and smoking…all of which are manageable, even if heart disease is hereditary in your family. I know it never helps for someone to tell you that your health is manageable because no one knows your personal situation.
BUT there are so many tiny steps you can take to move in the right direction that might just save your life.
First, let’s talk about how you are possibly increasing your risk of heart disease and why you might be predisposed. For some, heart disease is just naturally more of a possibility. These people will more than likely have a family member who has been diagnosed with heart disease. If you have a family member who has been diagnosed with heart disease, you should get checked.
Others may fall victim to some form of heart disease from too much salt, sugar, processed carbs, saturated fat, alcohol intake, smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, and lack of exercise. All of which are leading causes of high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
If heart disease is hereditary for you, that does not mean it will happen. It can be prevented or managed in the same way as someone who is not predisposed.
It is recommended that you get 30-60 minutes of activity a day. If this sounds overwhelming to you, start smaller. Aim for a shorter time of a moderate walk for you. There is so much truth in the saying, “Even the slowest person is ahead of the person on the couch.”
Keep track of your exercise so you can watch your progression each day. You can do this through nearly any fitness app, but myRemoteCheckup® is a good option as well if you want to have all of your health information in one place.
Cutting out saturated fats, salt, sugar, and processed carbs seemed impossible to even me and I am writing the article. But, like I am advising you, I started slowly. Avoid foods that are higher in these adverse contents or eat less of them. Portion size is a huge factor in losing weight, which also helps with preventing/controlling heart disease, but portion size will also aid with your ingestion of these harmful substances.
Something as small as cutting back slowly on your intake will help so much in preventing/controlling heart disease. Once you begin to cut back on detrimental foods, you will begin to crave them less and less, enabling you to lower your consumption over time.
Finally, and arguably the hardest if you have already started; quit smoking.
This seems like an impossible task to a smoker, but with the multitudes of health issues in addition to heart disease that come from smoking, it is almost impossible to not see why you should quit. There is a plethora of material out there to help you quit smoking, but the best advice previous smokers have given is the small-steps-approach, just like the advice to prevent, and control heart disease through eating healthier.
Even if you just start with smoking one less cigarette a day, that is one less than the day before, and one small step towards your goal of quitting.
The best way to prevent/control heart disease is to take control. Do not let yourself be controlled by your cravings and ideas that new, better habits cannot be formed. Everyone can change. Everyone.
Keeping track of your unhealthy food consumption, activity level, blood pressure, blood sugar, heart rate, medicinal doses are all crucial to taking control and managing your heart health, and lowering the risk of heart disease. Apps like Health Wealth Safe App® and Confetti Force® are the easiest way you can keep up with all of your data in one place, and if you have any issues, you can reach out to a care representative who will get you in touch with your doctor. The care representative will even keep up with your data for you by periodically calling to check in on you.
A healthy heart is one of the most important ways to live your best, fullest life. Take it seriously and make the steps, no matter how big, you need to get on track to being the healthiest and happiest you! Take control of your health and manage your risk for conditions such as heart disease!
For more on Health Wealth Safe App® and how to manage your heart health, check out our YouTube channel for an animated video on 10 steps you can take to make your heart healthy, and check us out on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for tips all month long!
Creator and digital marketer. Marketing and Development Manager at Health Wealth Safe, Doctors ACO, and A1 Doctors Association.