There are several strategies that we can all implement to help protect our heart health.

According to Dr. Bill Headley at Headley Family Medicine you can help prevent heart disease by following a heart-healthy lifestyle. Here are five tips to help you protect your heart.

Everyone knows that heart disease is the leading cause of death for Americans today. But even if you have risk factors because of your genetic makeup, there are still things you can do to lessen that risk and maybe even prevent the onset of heart problems.

1. Stop Smoking

A big risk factor for developing heart problems is smoking. The smoke from tobacco puts stress on the heart by causing the arteries to narrow. This can cause your blood pressure to go up and eventually lead to a heart attack. No matter if you just smoke occasionally, this can still cause your chances of developing heart disease to go up. If you are a woman and smoke and take birth control pills you are at a higher risk also. The best advice is to quit if you smoke and if you don’t ever start. As soon as a person stops smoking the risk for heart disease goes down a lot with the first year. So quit today

2. Exercise for 30 minutes

Exercise can reduce stress and help you maintain your correct weight. Both those factors can reduce your risk of developing heart disease. Every day as we exercise we help the body ward off diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure and cholesterol. Try getting at least 30 to 60 minutes of exercise every day of the week. Shorter amounts of exercise offer benefits, so if you can’t manage that length of time, break up your workout time into 10-minute sessions. Even gardening, housekeeping, and walking the dog can become part of your exercise routine.

3. Eat a healthy diet

Reducing your intake of fat, cholesterol and salt is a good start toward a healthy diet. Fruits and
vegetables along with whole grains and low fat beans or fish for protein are also good for your heart. All of
us can add more fruits and vegetables to your daily diet. We should have a goal of five to ten servings of
fruits and vegetables every day. Following a heart-healthy diet also means drinking alcohol only in moderation — no more than two drinks a day for men, and one a day for women.

4. Lose weight

When we age we gain fat and not muscle. This can cause our waistline to expand. If you have a large waist, you can expect more diseases and illnesses to occur. Even just losing 10% of your body weight can help keep your heart healthy and prevent diabetes if you are a man and your waist measurement is greater than 40 inches or if you are a woman and your waist is over 35 inches, start to lose weight now.

5. See your doctor regularly

Having a blood screening and going over the results with your Doctor and help you keep a watch on all the risk factors and give you piece of min. Call Headley Family Medicine serving Jesup, Georgia today and schedule you checkup. Regular screening for your blood pressure and cholesterol can let us know what your numbers are and if you need to correct them.