Heart disease is responsible for one quarter of all deaths in the United States. The tragedy is compounded because heart disease is in many cases preventable.
Anyone can get heart disease—women as often as men, we now know—but people with a family history are more susceptible and should take particular caution. But anyone can benefit from these tips:
- Exercise regularly—two and a half hours a week—and eat lots of fruits and vegetables. Keep your meat consumption, if any, to a reasonable level.
- Don’t smoke. Quitting smoking can significantly lower your risk of heart disease. You can go here for help quitting.
- Keep an eye on your blood pressure. Normal blood pressure is around 120/80. If yours isn’t close to that, work to lower it.
- Get yourself tested for diabetes. If you know you’re diabetic, keeping that under control is important.
- Maintain a healthy weight, and keep track of your cholesterol to help manage it.
These are general tips, but it’s important to consult with your doctor to figure out what, specifically, you can do to lower your risk and what areas you need to focus on.