Are Heart Attacks Preventable? Ways to Lower Your Chances of a Heart Attack
When an individual suffers a heart attack, one of the most critical factors is time. The more quickly the victim of a heart attack receives medical attention, the more likely they are to survive and to recover from the damage caused by the heart attack. The significance of quick treatment is the primary reason that many people learn CPR and other emergency procedures. Rather than depend on immediate intervention, however, it is better to avoid suffering a heart attack in the first place.
See a Doctor Regularly
The first step in avoiding a heart attack is to remain under the care of a physician. One of the primary risk factors for heart attack is age. As one ages, the risk of becoming a heart attack victim increases. Doctors may use blood tests, stress tests, and other methods to make sure that their patient’s heart is healthy. Heart attacks usually occur when the heart is damaged. If a doctor detects damage to the heart, before it becomes a major problem, the condition is usually treatable.
Some of the things that a doctor will look for include:
- High Blood Pressure
- High Cholesterol
- Irregular Heartbeat
The symptoms listed above can be monitored for changes that may signal heart damage. These conditions can usually be treated with medicine and other lifestyle changes.
Even if you have been diagnosed with heart disease, there are ways that you can improve your health. With your doctor’s help and by following these guidelines, you can set goals to reduce the risk factors, thereby lowering the chances of having a heart attack.
- Don’t smoke, and avoid other people’s tobacco smoke.
- If you have high blood pressure, treat it.
- Eat a healthy diet that’s low in saturated fat, trans-fat, cholesterol, and salt.
- Exercise at least 30 minutes on most or all days of the week.
- Keep your weight within the normal range.
- See your doctor for regular check-ups.
- Take your medicines exactly as prescribed.
- Control your blood sugar if you have diabetes.
Follow a Healthy Diet
As mentioned, many of the risk factors associated with a heart attack are related to diet. Foods that are high in fat, salt, and cholesterol have been linked to the increased likelihood of heart attack. It is recommended that you limit the intake of certain foods such as:
- Fried Foods – Especially those that are fried in oils that are high in trans-fats.
- Red Meat – Red meat is higher in fat than other proteins. When selecting red meat, it is recommended that one select leaner cuts.
- Chips and Salty Snacks – Salty snack are not only high in sodium, they are also high in fat and calories.
- Fresh Fruits – They add the vitamins, fiber, and antioxidants that the body craves.
- Fresh Vegetables – They also add vitamins, fiber, and beneficial antioxidants.
- Poultry – As long as it is not fried it is generally healthier. One should try to select the leanest poultry available.
- Fish – Tuna and salmon contain omega-3 fatty acids which promote a healthy heart.
- Red Wine – A single glass of red wine can contribute to the health of the heart.
The key to a proper diet is moderation. You can enjoy all types of food as long as you do not overdo it. By maintaining a healthy weight and eating well, your risk of suffering a heart attack can be reduced.
Regular Exercise and a Healthy Lifestyle
The heart is a muscle that needs to be exercised. In order to reduce the risk of experiencing a heart attack, you should plan to get a minimum of 30 minutes of exercise each day, at least five to six times a week. An appropriate exercise routine should raise your pulse to around 120 beats per minute, for at least a15 minute duration.
Getting proper care from your doctor, following a healthy diet, and exercising regularly is the best way to prevent heart disease and reduce the risk of having a heart attack. These simple practices will also help you achieve an overall feeling of wellbeing.