Heart attack and stroke are common among many people today. Despite their prevalence, many people do not know how they can prevent coronary artery diseases. Everyone is at risk of getting a heart attack and stroke. Understanding the risk factors is the first step to reducing your risk of a heart attack. The more risk factors you have, the more susceptible you are to suffer from heart diseases. Fortunately, there is a lot you can do to reduce the risk of suffering from a cardiac arrest. Discussed below are 8 ways to reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke.
- Quit Smoking
Smoking is one of the leading risk factors for heart attack. It contributes to about 40% of coronary artery disease deaths in the United States. Smoking damages your blood vessels and makes them stiff thereby affecting heart rhythm and supply of blood to the heart. This can lead to heart attack and stroke. Quit smoking is, therefore, one of the most effective ways to reduce your risk of heart attack. You can overcome smoking habit with the help of nicotine pills or using medication. You can also visit your doctor to advise you on the most appropriate way to beat this habit.
- Maintain a Healthy Weight
Obesity more than doubles your chance of getting a heart attack. Being overweight also contributes to complications like diabetes and high blood pressure which are the major risks factors for cardiac arrest. Maintaining a healthy weight is crucial in preventing the complications that contribute to heart attack and stroke.
Ensure you measure your body weight and work towards achieving the body mass index of 25. You can do this by reducing your calorie intake, keeping it to a maximum of 1500 calories in a day. Besides watching your diet, do regular exercise to help shed that extra weight.
- Control High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is a significant risk factor for heart attack and stroke. It is essential to measure your blood pressure every six months. Standard blood pressure is 120/80mmHg but you should always ensure your blood pressure is less than 135/85mmHg. High blood pressure can be controlled by quitting smoking, exercising and avoiding foods that are high in cholesterol. You should also eat more veggies, fruits, as well as whole grains. In an extreme situation, you can take medicines to help control blood pressure.
- Drink a Little Alcohol
Studies have shown that drinking alcohol moderately can help prevent a heart attack. If you are going to drink, a drink a day is ideal. Taking more than two drinks on any given day can instead increase your risk for stroke. One standard drink contains about 12 ounces for a beer or 4 ounces of wine or 1.5 ounces of hard liquor. It helps your heart to drink moderately, but if you are going to take more than recommended it is better to stay away from drinking.
- Control Diabetes
People with type 2 diabetes are more susceptible to heart attacks compared to those without. High blood sugar damages your blood vessels and nerves thereby affecting your cardiac rhythm which can lead to heart failure.
Also, diabetes increases the chance of developing other risk factors for stroke like hypertension. The longer you stay with diabetes, the higher your chances of developing heart failure. You can manage diabetes by controlling blood glucose. Exercising and medicine can help the body utilize blood sugar well while diet can help you reduce the intake of sugar.
- Keep your Heart Healthy
Sticking to a heart-healthy diet could also lower your chance of getting a heart attack. Eating more fruits, whole grains, veggies, and fish that is high in Omega 3 fatty acid can keep your heart healthy. Avoid foods that are high in sugar, salt, fats, and cholesterol.
Also, do not ignore any unusual signs as they can suggest the occurrence of heart failure. Some of the symptoms to look for include changes in cardiac rhythm, sweating, and difficulty in breathing. In case of such signs make sure you visit a doctor.
- Make use of Cardiac Monitoring Device
Irregular heart rhythm can lead to the formation of clots in the heart. These clots can cause a stroke when they get to the brain. Some common symptoms are heart palpitations. If you experience such symptoms, it is good to see a doctor immediately. You can use the Cardiac ECG monitoring service and Holter Monitoring Service to diagnose and treat irregular heart rhythm and other heart diseases.
- ECG monitoring service records electrical signs in the heart to help check on irregular cardiac rhythm which can help reduce the risk of heart attack.
- Holter monitoring service, on the other hand, helps to detect problems in cardiac rhythm that are not detected by an electrocardiogram. If you are on medication, it can tell if you are responding well to the medicine. Holter monitoring device is worn continuously for about 24 to 72 hours. Detecting and treating heart diseases in advance can significantly reduce your risk of heart attack.
- Do Regular Exercise
Exercises help you reduce your risk of heart attack by allowing your heart to work efficiently. The heart is able to pump blood better, and it reduces the formation of blood clots in blood vessels. Besides, regular exercise lowers blood pressure and helps you to lose weight which is crucial in lowering the risk of cardiac arrest.
Doing moderate physical exercise like swimming, walking, lifting weights and running every day can decrease your risk of stroke and heart attack significantly. Just spare only 30 minutes of your day to do exercises and stay fit. You can even decide to walk to work or taking stairs instead of the elevator.
Age and family history contribute largely to heart attacks and stroke. While it may be hard to change the two, you can at least follow the ways discussed above to help you reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke. You will also live a quality life as you can avoid other heart diseases. Changing your lifestyle can also help to reduce the risk of heart attack.
Sathya Kumar is the Founder & CEO of Cardiac Rhythm. Cardiac Rhythm’s biosensor is an unobtrusive, easy to use a device for the patient’s long-term Holter monitoring and real-time mobile cardiac telemetry monitoring. The portable biosensor remotely monitors the health of patients and provides physicians with deeper clinical-grade data insights.