“The secret of longevity and good health is prevention. Make the changes that are necessary in your lifestyle to promote good health in the future.” Denton Cooley.
When I am in my office, I can perceive that many of my patients prioritize the care of their car and other elements over their own body. This could be due to a lack of interest, or simply a lack of knowledge.
On a daily basis we carry out different habits, being able to be “good”, such as doing physical activity on a regular basis, or “bad” like choosing an unhealthy diet.
Therefore, every morning we should ask ourselves what lifestyle we choose to take care of, knowing that with small actions we can have a positive impact on our health. We summarize them in 5 key points:
- Becoming Aware Of Cardiovascular Risk Factors
The dr george shapiro md facc says there are certain factors have a significant influence on the likelihood of a person suffering from cardiovascular disease, the so-called risk factors. Some can not be modified, such as age and certain genetic alterations, but for the most part they can.
High blood pressure increases your risk of having a heart attack or an ischemic stroke. In United States 4 out of 10 adults are hypertensive, 40% are not aware of it and only 1 in 4 patients have controlled pressure.
Obesity and overweight are considered a worldwide epidemic, reaching 50% of adults in some countries. This problem starts from childhood, since 3 of 4 parents do not recognize the obesity or overweight of their children.
Cholesterol when it reaches high levels in blood accumulates in the walls of the arteries, being able to generate a gradual narrowing of the light and thus to favor the cardiac or neurological problems.
Diabetes is a disease that affects 422 million adults worldwide, closely related to obesity, sedentary lifestyle and poor diet. It produces affection in the arteries, being the main problem if an adequate control of the same is not obtained.
- Choose Healthy Foods
Not only is quantity important but also the quality of what we eat.
Studies have shown that the “Mediterranean” diet decreases the chances of having heart problems. It is called this way because it is a set of food habits that follow the inhabitants of the Mediterranean regions characterized by: –
- High consumption of fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and legumes.
- Predomination of fish consumption over meat.
- Utilization of olive oil instead of vegetable oils, preferably raw.
- Use the garlic, onion, parsley, herbs and condiments, with the purpose of replacing the salt.
- Consumption of water at meals instead of soda.
- Limiting salt intake is a key tool for controlling blood pressure. In United States the average daily consumption is 12 grams, however the World Health Organization suggests not to exceed 5 grams of salt per day.
One practical way of quantifying the amount we use is to keep in mind that a flush soup spoon or a 500 mg aspirin blister equals 1 gram of salt.
- Quitting Smoking
The cigarette contains products that increase the risk of cancer. But in addition, they significantly increase the risk of having problems with the heart, the arteries of the legs and the abdominal aorta.
No degree of smoking can be considered “harmless”, even people who smoke small amounts are more at risk than people who do not. To quit smoking there are medicines and doctors who are specialists in the subject that help to achieve it.
The benefit of the cessation is progressive, observing that at 3 months of quitting the risk of suffering a heart attack has decreased and at 15 years the risk is the same as that of a person who does not smoke.
- Perform Physical Activity
There is a clear knowledge that people who exercise regularly have a lower risk of heart problems.
But how much is recommended?
It is suggested to perform 30-45 minutes of aerobic physical activity: walking, jogging, dancing, swimming. It is recommended to do it about 3 or 4 times a week.
A recent study has shown that cycling to work or doing routine walks significantly decreases cardiac risk factors.
It is also important to ingest a sufficient amount of fluids (preferably water) as it helps prevent dehydration, especially during hot weather.
You should never miss an adequate medical checkup prior to the start of the activity that certifies that you are in a position to carry it out.
- Perform Periodic Health Checks
It could be established that a healthy person should be monitored annually with their primary care physician, in order to establish and reinforce preventive behaviors. In patients with a risk factor, follow-up should be individualized.