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Simple Ways to Reduce Your Risk of Heart Disease

February 17, 2014 R

Claiming around 600,000 victims every year, heart disease is the number one cause of death among Americans. Perhaps the most tragic aspect of this statistic is that many of these deaths can be prevented. By making a few lifestyle changes, you can reduce your risk of heart disease and increase your lifespan.

Quit Using Tobacco

Smoking is a significant contributing factor to countless conditions, including heart disease. Regular tobacco use constricts the blood vessels, increasing blood pressure and greatly increasing the risk of heart attack. Quitting tobacco isn’t easy for most people—if you’re intimidated by the idea of smoking cessation, ask your doctor about the various quitting methods. You might also consider reaching out to past smokers for guidance.

Reduce Stress

Stress is a perfectly natural response to danger. However, chronic stress can put undue pressure on your heart and arteries, increasing your risk of developing heart disease. If there’s a part of your life that causes you considerable stress—a high-pressure job, for example—try to find a constructive way to make it more bearable. It’s also a good idea to reserve at least a few minutes each day for a relaxing activity, such as taking a long bath or listening to calming music.

Embrace Diet and Exercise

A good diet is perhaps the single most important aspect of staying heart healthy. You must make an effort to reduce the amount of sodium, cholesterol, and saturated fat in your diet. Instead of regularly eating red meat for dinner, consider fish or other lean proteins. It’s also important to get your heart rate up with regular exercise. Most doctors recommend at least 150 minutes a week of physical activity for optimal heart health.

Like most people, you trust your doctor to provide appropriate advice and effective care. Unfortunately this is not always what happens. If you suspect that you’ve been misdiagnosed or have suffered medical error, call the Long Island attorneys of Pegalis Law Group at (516) 684-2900. We’ve been successfully representing patients in medical malpractice cases for over 40 years.