According to the Centers for Disease Control, there are at least 200,000 deaths each year from heart disease and stroke that are preventable. More than half of these preventable deaths are under the age of 65.
A healthy lifestyle has been shown to have remarkable improvements on your heart and overall health.
Eat a Heart-Healthy Diet
Diet is an important part of having a healthy and strong heart. Some of the best foods to enjoy for heart-healthy benefits would be: green leafy vegetables, berries, avocado, walnuts, salmon, and whole grains. You should consider avoiding or limiting processed foods, such as refined sugars and refined grains that do not have a lot of nutritional value.
Some stress can be good for you, but too much stress can put strain on your heart and have a negative impact. Identify what adds the most stress to your life, and find ways to limit or improve this area in your life. Consider lowering your stress levels by incorporating meditation, yoga, and having enough sleep.
Just 30 minutes of moderate exercise five days a week has major benefits to your heart health, including lowering blood pressure, lowering cholesterol, and helping you reach or maintain a healthy weight.
Smoking has been linked to cancer and heart disease. Smoking has also been shown to increase your risk of having a heart attack. If you smoke, please talk to your doctor about programs that can help you quit smoking. You can also consider joining support group to help support you in your efforts to quit smoking.
Healthy Blood Pressure and Cholesterol Levels
When someone has high blood pressure or high cholesterol levels, they are at a higher risk for a stroke or heart attack. Consider incorporating a healthy diet, regular exercise, getting enough sleep, and reducing stress.
Achieve and Maintain Weight Loss
Excess body fat increases your risk of developing heart disease, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes. Eating healthy consistently and exercising regularly, is an important part of achieving and maintaining a healthy weight. If you need help reaching your weight loss goals, consider working with a doctor, nutritionist, and or a personal trainer to help you.
Where to Start
One of the first steps toward better heart health is understanding your risk factors for heart disease, and working with a medical professional to help you reach your health goals. At Zion HealthShare, we believe in the importance of taking a proactive approach for your health. Zion HealthShare members are eligible to receive annual provider visits for sharing immediately upon member activation.
For preventive services, members can use the PPO PHCS network, which do not require members to meet their Health Share Initial Unshareable Amount (IUA). Members can also work with a Direct Primary Care doctor to receive the help they need to work towards their health goals.