Habits for a Heart Healthy Lifestyle

Heart disease is a top killer worldwide -- but our lifestyle choices can go a long way toward reducing our risk. We round up the basics to living well.

BY: Elizabeth Rogers of 50Plus.com

 

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Manage stress

We can’t completely eliminate stress, but experts say we can find better ways to cope with it. Chronic stress doesn’t just affect our blood pressure: it can contribute to inflammation and affect our immune system too. While it can be difficult to avoid stressful situations, there are some strategies that can help. For instance, using effective communication skills and learning to say no can help with relationships. Also, eating well, exercise, relaxation techniques, volunteering, hobbies, vacations and sometimes a good cry — or a good laugh — can alleviate stress. Studies have even shown a link between spirituality and reduced stress.

Get regular check-ups

Despite all the information we have available, we should still leave the diagnoses to the doctors. As mentioned before, it’s important to keep an eye on your cholesterol levels, blood sugar levels and blood pressure — especially since you might not be experiencing any symptoms. Experts warn to keep up with those annual check-ups to keep tabs on any potential problems — and treat them before they become dangerous. Regular check-ups are especially important if you already have heart disease or another condition like diabetes or an autoimmune disorder that could after your heart. It’s important to see a doctor if you notice any suspicious symptoms, and seek emergency care if you’re experiencing the signs of a heart attack or stroke. (See How to save a heart for more information.) Already taking these heart-healthy steps? You’re well ahead of most people. Making these changes won’t guarantee a life free of heart disease, but they can help us live longer and enjoy more years of good health. Medications alone can’t prevent or treat heart disease, so it’s up to us to take steps to protect our heart.

Article courtesy of 50PLUS.com, where you’ll find thousands of articles on health, money, travel, lifestyle, work, relationships and more!

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