The 4 Best Tips For Heart Health!

Heart Disease Risk FactorsWhile superior genetics may help, good old-fashioned action is essential. Especially during life transitions, superior genetics will not substitute for knowledge of heart disease risk factors.

  1. Snub-Out Those Cigarettes For Good – Maybe you didn’t know your husband’s habit could hurt your heart too!  Nonsmokers who are exposed to secondhand smoke at home or at work have 25%-30% higher heart disease risk factors, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Do This: If you smoke, quit any way you can. In 15 years, you’ll have the same risk as someone who’s never smoked.

  2. Move Your Butt – You don’t have to be a fanatic about it. To cut your stroke and heart disease risk factors by 35%-50%, all you need is 30 minutes five times a week. You can even break that half-hour into three 10-minute intervals. Want to work-out more? You’ll give your HDL (good) cholesterol an extra boost – and burn more calories, of course. Do This: Anything that gets you breathing a bit heavily, that you enjoy, and that you’ll do consistently. Brisk walking, raking, or shoveling are all good.  The important this is to move, and do it regularly.
  3. Know Your Family’s Health History – Superior genetics can be tracked and are important to know! Your own pregnancy (if you’ve had one) can be a crystal ball into the future of your heart’s health. Women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), who may have had difficulty getting pregnant, or those who had gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, or high blood pressure while pregnant have a tendency toward high triglycerides and insulin resistance, making their arteries more vulnerable to plaque buildup. Do This: In addition to your parent’s and grandparents’ histories, tell your doctor about what happened when you were pregnant.
  4. Stay On Top Of Your Numbers – In addition to blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar, another number (your waist circumference) is linked to heart disease risk factors. Not that you’d welcome the extra weight on your butt or hips, either, but experts believe that abdominal fat is particularly evil because it may release excess fatty acids. Do This: Set a weight-loss goal of getting your waist measurement to below 35”, rather than getting into your high school jeans.

We can’t all have superior genetics, but we should all be aware of the heart disease risk factorsLife transitions can increase stress and mitigate the benefit of superior genetics. Get educated and take action.

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