Heart disease, though the leading cause of death in the U.S., is also preventable. Learn more about lifestyle changes that can jumpstart your healthy heart journey in 2023 with tips from Jasdeep, Sidhu, SSM Health cardiologist
Heart Disease claims a life approximately every 36 seconds in the United States, and is the leading cause of death for both men and women.
The term itself often refers to coronary artery disease, which affects how the blood flows to the heart.
“Heart attacks occur when there is blockage in an artery and decreased blood flow to the heart,” explained SSM Health Dean Medical Group Cardiologist Dr. Jasdeep Sidhu.
Heart disease includes heart attacks, in addition to arrhythmias and congestive heart failure.
“Obesity, uncontrolled diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and smoking all increase one’s chance of developing heart disease,” Dr. Sidhu said.
The good news is that lifestyle changes can improve one’s health, even for those who haven’t been the healthiest in the past. Some basic steps to get started on a healthier journey include:
- Staying connected with your primary care provider to ensure any existing conditions are well-controlled, and that medications are being taken appropriately.
- Introduce more heart-healthy foods into your diet, like vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins.
- Try to eat fewer foods that are overly salty, have a lot of saturated fat, sugar, or are processed.
- Try to move more. Adults should try to get at least 2.5 hours of exercise each week – but that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to spend it in the gym. Go for a walk, take the stairs, break a sweat while cleaning the house. Every little bit helps.
- Stop smoking! Smoking greatly increases your risk for heart disease and other serious health conditions. A variety of cessation resources are available.
Learn more about strategies to improve heart health or take a free heart risk assessment by visiting https://www.ssmhealth.com/heart-vascular-health.