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10 Ways to Reduce Your Risk of Heart Failure

Medically Reviewed by Carmelita Swiner, MD on July 07, 2022

Why Is Your Heart Health Important?
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For both men and women, heart disease is the leading cause of death annually in the US. In 2019, about 655,000 Americans died from heart disease. About 805.000 heart attacks are reported each year.

In most cases, lifestyle changes can ultimately lower the risk of developing heart failure. So why don’t more Americans make these changes? It may seem overwhelming to alter your lifestyle with too many changes at once. But by starting to implement the following life-altering changes one at a time, the risk of developing a heart-related medical issue can drastically decline.

Don’t Smoke or Use Tobacco Products
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Smoking cessation is one of the best things you can do for your heart. If you don’t smoke, you should avoid secondhand smoke as well. The chemicals in tobacco are damaging to your blood vessels and your heart. Tobacco reduces the amount of oxygen in the blood, so it increases blood pressure by making the heart work harder to supply oxygen.

Maintain a Healthy Weight
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For both American adults and children, obesity is very high. Supplements, detox, and other fad diets do not provide long-term results. Proper nutrition and caloric intake, along with a decrease in sedentary lifestyle habits, are the best ways to keep a healthy weight. Obesity can lead to other medical conditions like high blood pressure and insulin resistance.

Keep a Smaller Waist
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Studies show that men who maintained a waistline of 37 inches or less had a 12% reduction in heart disease risk. The same is applied to women who maintain a waist circumference of fewer than 35 inches.

Get 30 to 60 Minutes of Daily Physical Activity
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Regular everyday exercise significantly reduces the risk of heart disease. It helps to control weight and decreases the chance of developing other diseases that place a strain on the heart.

Keep Blood Pressure Down
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Doctors prefer that your blood pressure reading be maintained at less than 120/80. High blood pressure is a huge risk for stroke and other ailments of your cardiovascular system. Try to reduce the salt in your diet to help keep your blood pressure down.

Eat Healthier
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Studies show that people who have a diet rich in fruit, veggies, nuts, whole grains, legumes, reduced-fat dairy, and fish have an 18 percent reduction in heart failure risk than those who don’t.

Make Sure You Get Good Sleep
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The increased risk of heart attack, depression, and other medical ailments goes up in those who don’t get enough sleep. Adults need at least 7 hours of sleep nightly.

Decrease Stress
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Some studies have seen a link between heart disease and stress. Stress increases the risk of heart disease and stroke. Stressed people may smoke, drink, or overeat to cope. This is hazardous to your health.

Keep Blood Cholesterol Levels Low
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If your arteries have fat lodged in them, your heart health is at risk. It could trigger a stroke or a heart attack The reduction in consumption of trans fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol helps to keep cholesterol levels down. Exercise helps as well.

Get Routine Health Screenings
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Several health problems can damage the heart and the blood vessels. If you do not go for regular medical checkups, you wouldn’t know about them. Regular screenings will tell you what body function readings are off, and let you know if there are lifestyle changes that you need to make.

Credit: WebMD

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