Heart disease is the number one cause of death for both men and women in the United States, regardless of race or ethnicity. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, each year, over 600,000 Americans die due to cardiovascular complications, which amounts to one person dying every 37 seconds!

Heart disease refers to several conditions that negatively impact the functionality of the heart, such as genetic defects, infections, or blocked blood vessels. Even though cardiovascular disorders are the biggest health threat globally, most heart diseases can be prevented by some simple and healthy lifestyle choices.

Here are five steps to gain control over your heart health and live a heart-healthy lifestyle:

STEP #1 — Reduce Your Consumption

Eliminating something completely from your life, such as red meat, is quite difficult and not sustainable in the long run. A good strategy would be to reduce your consumption and practice restraint when it comes to unhealthy foods. Reduce your red meat consumption by swapping it for white meat such as chicken and fish. Don’t add salt to any of your food as its naturally present in many ingredients. And finally, consume as little sugar as possible even though it might be difficult at first, but you’ll get used to it, and your arteries will thank you for it.

STEP #2 — Be Consistent with Your Exercise

Along with the growing number of heart diseases being reported in the U.S., there is an alarming increase in the rate of diabetes diagnoses. The best way to make sure you stay healthy and avoid these common issues is with consistent exercise throughout the week. Again, moderation is key and will help you stick to your exercise routine. Experts recommend walking at least three times a week at a brisk pace to reach a higher heart rate. Exercise will also help you stay more alert during the day and will enhance the quality of your sleep.

STEP #3 — Get Proper Sleep and Eliminate Stress from Your Life

Experiencing too much stress and not getting enough sleep can have a significant negative impact on your heart health and increase the likelihood of serious cardiovascular issues as you grow older. If you are not getting your eight hours of restful sleep, you need to identify the reasons that are keeping from getting proper rest and make changes in your schedule accordingly. Put away your smartphone at night and create a bedtime routine of doing some light stretches, drinking water, and reading a relaxing book to improve your sleep schedule and quality. You also need to examine what is causing so much stress in your life and take proper measures to relax and de-stress every now and then.

Step #4 — Get Regular Screenings

Not visiting a physician for a long time is not something to brag about. Getting regular screenings from leading family medicine practitioners such as Natomas Family Practice is essential to identify and prevent possible diseases and deficiencies. Screenings can help catch a disease early on, which makes it easier to treat and reduces the chance of possible long-term impact on your health. Visit a primary care physician today and schedule screenings that are appropriate for your age and gender!

STEP #5 — Quit Smoking

Smoking is one of the worst things you could be doing to your body. It isakin to willingly ingesting a poison that is slowly killing you from the inside. Smoking has been deemed one of the leading preventable causes of death and disease in the United States. Nicotine not only increases the blood pressure, but it also increases the risk of developing blood clots that can clog up critical arteries in the heart and reduces your tolerance and endurance for exercise.

This includes vaping as one “pod” has the same amount of nicotine as a pack of cigarettes. Although the long-term risks of vaping haven’t been proven yet it is safe to assume that they won’t be good for your health.

Get in touch with leading family medicine and urgent care providers in Sacramento, California, today!