Beauty & Wellness

Ticker Time

Did you know you can cut your risk of heart disease by upward of 80% by making simple lifestyle choices? Here are 10 things Dr. Jonathan Fialkow, Medical Director of Clinical Cardiology for Baptist Cardiac & Vascular Institute and Cardiology Director of the Chest Pain Center at Baptist Hospital recommends you do to help keep your heart going pitter-patter.
Compiled by Dena Roché | June 6, 2018 | Beauty & Wellness

1. Don’t smoke: If you smoke, find a way to quit. If you don’t smoke, don’t start. Smoking is toxic to every organ system in the body.

2. Eat healthy: Fruits and vegetables, complex carbs and foods containing omega-3 keep the doctor away.

3. Avoid sugar: Sugar tastes great, but it reeks havoc on the body by causing inflammation, weight gain and a host of other issues.

4. Maintain an ideal body weight: Watch your waist. A spare tire puts you at higher risk for cardiovascular disease than fat deposits in the lower body around the hips and thighs.

5. Control blood sugar: At any given cholesterol level, diabetics have up to a 3 times higher rate of atherosclerosis disease, which causes fatty plaque in blood vessels that restricts bloodflow.

6. Reduce stress: Stress kills. Turn off your phone, walk away from the computer and disconnect by gardening, walking, chatting with a friend or listening to music.

7. Get Moving: Exercise decreases blood pressure, body fat and diabetes risk, improves lipids, and energy levels, gives stress relief and lessens depression.

8. Get your ZZZs: Relax your mind an hour before bedtime, dim the lights and don’t look at electronics. Keep your bedroom cool and dark.

9. Reduce alcohol consumption: Limit intake to one serving for women and two for men; alcohol dilates blood vessels and is an antioxidant. Drinking more than that elevates blood pressure.

10. Monitor & control lipids: These fatty acids, which include cholesterol, provide info about underlying risks of inflammation in your arteries and heart disease.