Managing Heart Disease

Heart disease is the number one killer of both men and women in America. You can be predisposed to heart disease based on your genetics (family history of heart disease) or your risk could be heightened due to an unhealthy weight and a sedentary lifestyle. It is important to remember that 9 out of 10 cases of heart disease can be prevented with just a few simple lifestyle changes such as healthy diet and moderate exercise a few times a week.

To help determine your risk level, start by determining your Body Mass Index (BMI). Maintaining good heart health requires a healthy body weight, usually expressed as a BMI of less than 28. If your BMI is greater than that, it's time to start reevaluating some of your food and lifestyle choices.

How can I prevent Heart Disease?

  • Don't smoke. If you are currently a smoker, there's no better time to quit than today. Your physician can give you great tips on how to stop smoking. Don't be afraid to ask.
  • Eat more high-fiber fruits and vegetables.
  • Choose fish-based proteins which tend to be lower in saturated fat.
  • Cut back on salt. High salt intake increases blood pressure which puts you at a greater risk for heart disease.
  • Reduce your intake of high-fat dairy products and red meats. Moderation is key.
  • Exercise for 30 minutes no less than three times a week. You don't have to run a marathon. Just getting out and taking a brisk walk counts. Get that heart pumping!

At Physicians East, we are here to help you navigate your heart health. Please consult with your doctor about getting an appropriate level of exercise based on your age and your health and any dietary advice you need assistance with.