When it comes to heart health, many people focus on the risks associated with high cholesterol or an unhealthy lifestyle. However, there are several other factors that can harm your heart and increase the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD). New Jersey-based cardiologist Dr. John Strobeck emphasizes the importance of following simple steps to take care of your heart and reduce the risk of heart-related problems.
Maintaining a healthy weight is crucial for heart health. Recent studies have shown that being overweight or obese increases the risk of heart disease and stroke by 30%. Monitoring your weight and ensuring that your Body Mass Index (BMI) is within the normal range is essential to keep your heart healthy.
One of the most important steps you can take to protect your heart is to quit smoking or avoid starting in the first place. Cigarette smoking is strongly linked to an increased risk of coronary artery disease, which can lead to heart attacks and strokes. Smoking also raises blood pressure, damages blood vessels, and reduces the levels of HDL (“good”) cholesterol in the bloodstream. If you are a smoker, consulting with your doctor about strategies to quit smoking is crucial for improving heart health.
Regular exercise is highly effective in maintaining a healthy heart. Engaging in physical activity helps in weight management, lowers blood pressure, and reduces the risk of heart disease. Exercise also releases endorphins, which improve mood and reduce stress levels. Incorporating moderate-intensity exercises, such as brisk walking, cycling, or swimming, into your daily routine can significantly benefit your heart health.
Eating a healthy diet plays a pivotal role in maintaining heart health. A diet rich in fruits and vegetables can help reduce the risk of heart disease, as well as other chronic conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure. It is essential to avoid or limit the consumption of trans fats and excessive sugar. Additionally, monitoring your sodium intake is crucial, as high sodium levels can contribute to hypertension. Avoid adding salt during cooking or at the table, and be mindful of the sodium content in processed foods. Choosing fresh and whole foods over processed options can have a positive impact on your heart health.
In conclusion, Dr. John Strobeck taking care of your heart involves simple yet impactful lifestyle choices. Maintaining a healthy weight, avoiding smoking, engaging in regular exercise, and adopting a nutritious diet can significantly reduce the risk of heart disease and promote overall cardiovascular health. Incorporating these habits into your daily routine can have long-lasting benefits and contribute to a healthier heart. Remember, it’s never too late to prioritize your heart health and make positive changes for a better future.