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7 Simple Ways to Improve Your Heart Health

Discussion in 'Cardiology' started by Egyptian Doctor, Nov 16, 2013.

  1. Egyptian Doctor

    Egyptian Doctor Moderator Verified Doctor

    Mar 21, 2011
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    1. Get active – Aerobic exercise is a crucial factor in managing your cardiovascular risk, Dr. Martin clinical and interventional cardiologist at Cleveland Clinic says. It aids in lowering blood pressure, improves your cholesterol profile, assists in weight management and lowers inflammation.

    "Most people have the impression that you need a membership at a gym or to purchase ‘high- tech’ equipment to improve cardiovascular fitness," he says. "This is not necessarily the case. Simply walking with an initial goal of 30 to 45 minutes daily at a pace that leads one to break a sweat and makes one short of breath, yet able to carry on a conversation, will suffice."

    2. Control cholesterol — Bad cholesterol, or LDL, is the substance that circulates in the blood and is the major component of plaque, or blockages, in blood vessels.

    "This comes from either what you eat or what your body makes," Dr. Martin says. "Therefore, you can limit the amount of bad cholesterol in your blood by dietary modification and medications. Some medications are powerful at lowering cholesterol and reducing your risk of cardiovascular events (heart attack and strokes). Check with your doctor to see if medical intervention is indicated."

    3. Eat better — Dietary modification is a potent way to lower your cardiovascular risk, Dr. Martin says.

    "Typically, a low-sodium, low-cholesterol diet aids in management of your blood pressure and cholesterol profile, and is advised in most situations," he says. "If you have questions, contact your doctor and discuss an evaluation by a dietician."

    4. Manage blood pressure — Blood pressure is known as the "silent killer," Dr. Martin says, noting that elevated blood pressure can damage the body without patients experiencing symptoms.

    "Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is the leading cause of stroke and a significant risk factor in development of heart and kidney disease," he says. "You can lower your blood pressure through diet modification (low sodium), aerobic exercise and weight loss. Get your blood pressure checked and review findings with your doctor."

    5. Lose weight — Being overweight can exacerbate several other health problems that lead to cardiovascular disease, such as hypertension, diabetes and high cholesterol, Dr. Martin says.

    "Weight loss through diet and exercise is another very useful way of controlling your cardiovascular risk," he says, adding that patients should consult their physician about options for weight loss.

    6. Reduce blood sugar — Diabetes, or elevated blood sugar, can act like a wrecking ball on the cardiovascular system, promoting accelerated atherosclerosis, or blockages in the blood vessels, which lead to heart attacks and stroke, Dr. Martin says.

    "Diet and medications can be very successful at controlling your blood sugar and lowering your risk," he says, encouraging those with diabetes to talk to their doctor about actively and aggressively managing the disease.

    7. Stop smoking (!) — Dr. Martin acknowledges that this is among the most difficult of the "Simple 7" to do, but says it is critical to heart health. Smoking increases the risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer — the two leading causes of death in the United States.

    "Each time you pick up a cigarette, think of the money you are spending to destroy yourself," he says. "You probably did not start smoking a pack a day when you started, so it may take some time to completely quit. Start now. Try to limit to a few cigarettes a day to start and build from there."



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  2. Tony Gofenyaone Mokgopong

    Tony Gofenyaone Mokgopong Young Member

    Dec 9, 2013
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    Saturated fattyacids should also be reduced in the diet,and replaced with good fattyacids such as monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fattyacids

  3. wilsonmadison

    wilsonmadison Active member

    Dec 23, 2013
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    Doctor these heart improving tips are very useful for the heart patients. Some important knowledge is known by me also which i wanted to share with you all.
    1. Dark Chocolate and milk chocolate reduces the blood pressure as flavanols antioxidant is found in the chocolates which forms the nitric oxide in the body. So it lowers the blood pressure and consumption of dark chocolate lowers the heart attack incidents.
    2. Salt consumption in the excessive amount damage blood vessels and develops hypertension. So consume less amount of salt.
    3. Olive Oil consumption is good for heart and health. Cook your vegetables in olive oil as it necessary to eat it in either way.

    Egyptian Doctor likes this.

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