Treating Your Risk for Cardiovascular Disease

Every 34 seconds, someone in the United States dies from cardiovascular disease. This chronic condition is the leading cause of death in the country, but it can often be prevented even if you have multiple risk factors.

Here are steps you can take to reduce your risk for heart disease and how to contact Hunterdon Cardiovascular Associates (HCA) if you or a loved one needs cardiovascular disease treatment.

Don’t Smoke

Smoking is one of the top cardiovascular disease risk factors. Cigarettes and tobacco products are often loaded with thousands of toxins and chemicals that can damage veins and arteries. Over time, the swelling and inflammation of the blood vessels caused by smoking can lead to heart conditions, including atherosclerosis, stroke, and peripheral artery disease.

Talk to your doctor if you need help quitting. Talk therapy, support groups, and nicotine replacement are all effective treatments for smoking. The Center for Vascular Care at HCA also has a nicotine cessation program that provides information, medication, and support.

Eat Healthy Foods

Here are some of the many foods that are loaded with heart-healthy nutrients:

  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Nuts
  • Fish
  • Whole Grains

These foods contain antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that increase blood flow and circulation and maintain the health of your blood vessels and heart.

Reduce your intake of foods high in sodium and sugar, and aim to eat more healthy, whole foods. Here are some whole foods that can boost your energy and help you maintain good heart health:

  • Salmon
  • Tuna
  • Eggs
  • Walnuts
  • Beans
  • Oats

Lose Excess Weight

Obesity is another top cardiovascular disease risk factor. Excess weight puts extra strain on your heart and blood vessels, as it forces your heart to work harder at pumping blood and circulating it throughout your body.

Steps you can take to lose extra weight include exercising regularly, eating a higher amount of healthy foods, and reducing portion sizes. Drinking more water and avoiding sitting for long periods are other effective ways to lose excess weight.

Exercise Regularly

High blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, and high blood sugar can all increase your risk for cardiovascular disease. Exercise naturally reduces all these markers to help you maintain a healthy heart.

Start exercising on a majority of days during the week. Do a combination of aerobic exercises and muscle-strengthening exercises. Here are some examples of aerobic exercises that can strengthen your heart:

  • Running
  • Swimming
  • Dancing
  • Bicycling

Here are examples of exercises that can improve your overall muscle strength and flexibility:

  • Push-ups
  • Lunges
  • Squats
  • Planks
  • Burpees

Get Quality Sleep

Poor sleep has been linked to chronic health conditions, including high blood pressure, obesity, and heart disease. Try to get at least 7 hours of sleep a night and make changes to your lifestyle as needed to get a better night’s sleep.

Hunterdon Cardiovascular Associates is committed to providing the highest quality of care in a patient-centered environment. Our offices are conveniently located in Flemington, Clinton, and Bridgewater. We have subspecialty offices available to ensure our patients receive the proper care for their conditions. Contact HCA today at (908) 788-1710 to request an appointment with one of our cardiologists.

Posted in: Cardiovascular Diseases

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