Five Ways to Reduce Your Risk of Heart Disease
The term “heart disease” refers to several types of heart conditions. The most common is coronary artery disease, which can cause a heart attack or stroke. Other kinds of heart disease may involve the valves in the heart, or how the heart pumps blood.
Anyone can develop heart disease…and everyone can reduce their risk by living a heart-healthy life. Here’s how:
- Stay away from tobacco. The chemicals in tobacco harm your blood cells, damage the lining of your arteries, increase your cholesterol, and destroy the function of your heart and blood vessels. If you smoke, vape or chew, quitting is the best thing you can do for your good health.
- Get 30 minutes of exercise every day. Regular exercise strengthens your heart and lungs, lowers blood pressure, increases good cholesterol, and reduces bad cholesterol. Physical activity lowers your risk for heart disease and many other chronic conditions.
- Maintain a healthy weight. Excess weight, especially around your middle, strains your heart, raises blood pressure and cholesterol, and increases your risk for heart disease. If you are overweight, losing just 5% of your starting weight can greatly reduce your risk.
- Eat healthy. Add vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts, and beans to your meals. Making healthy food choices reduces your risk for heart disease by helping you control your weight, blood pressure and cholesterol.
- Drink alcohol in moderation (if at all). Although moderate drinking–no more than 1 drink a day for women and 2 for men–may have benefits for some people, regular, excessive or binge drinking can hurt your heart muscle and increase your blood pressure.
1 in every 4 deaths in the U.S. is caused by heart disease. [Source: CDC]
Get extra support with Regence Care. If you have any type of heart disease, Regence offers one-on-one support in addition to your doctor’s treatment plan. To learn more, call 1 (866) 543-5765.
Kick the habit with Quit For Life.® Online tools, live support, and medication to help control cravings can help you successfully quit smoking. Available at no cost to all active participants, spouses, and dependents (age 18 and older). To get started, call 1 (866) QUIT4LIFE or go to quitnow.net.