An estimated 600,000 people die every year from heart disease in the United States. This February, in honor of American Heart Month, Henry Ford Wyandotte Hospital educated the community on how to reduce risk for heart disease.
Felix Rogers, D.O., cardiologist at Henry Ford Wyandotte Downriver Cardiology, says that nearly every heart attack is preventable by taking proper care of your body. He offers these tips for keeping your heart healthy year-round:
- Eat a healthy diet. Choose healthful meal and snack options that include plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. Eat foods low in saturated fat and cholesterol and high in fiber to help prevent high blood cholesterol, and limit your intake salt or sodium intake.
- Exercise regularly. Adults should engage in moderately intense exercise for at least 30 minutes most days of the week. This does not need to be done in a gym or fitness center. Find extra ways to be more active such as, taking the stairs instead of the elevator or parking at the far end of a parking lot. Regular physical activity can help you maintain a healthy weight and lower your cholesterol and blood pressure levels.
- Maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight or obese can increase risk for heart disease. To determine whether your weight is in a healthy range, ask your doctor to calculate your body mass index number or go to nhlbisupport.com/bmi/. For nearly everybody, weight loss is reached by cutting down on calories, not by exercising. Once at a desired weight, the secret to keeping the weight off is exercise and breakfast every morning.
- Don't use tobacco. The use of tobacco significantly increases risk for heart disease. If you don't use, don't start. If you do, quitting will lower your risk. Your doctor can recommend methods to help you quit.
- Limit alcohol use. Avoid drinking alcohol excessively, which causes high blood pressure. The public health recommendation for alcoholic beverages per week is a maximum of seven for women and 14 for men.
- See your doctor at regular intervals for help in reaching ideal blood pressure, blood sugar and blood cholesterol.
Henry Ford Wyandotte Hospital offers a variety of workshops and programs to assist with lifestyle changes. For more information, please visit www.henryfordwyandotte.com/community.