Heart Disease Home > Preventing Heart Disease
One of the reasons that some people may shrug off the possibility of developing heart disease is that it's a gradual, lifelong process that people can't see or feel. There are usually no "early heart disease symptoms," so people continue to make poor choices, thinking that heart disease will not happen to them. But look at the odds -- one in three Americans will develop heart disease. So what are good choices for preventing heart disease? Good choices include:
- Exercise regularly (see Heart Disease and Exercise)
- Maintain a healthy weight (see Weight and Heart Disease)
- Eat a well-balanced, heart-healthy diet (see Diet and Heart Disease)
- Control blood pressure and cholesterol (see Lowering Blood Pressure or Lowering Cholesterol)
- Prevent or manage diabetes (see Diabetes Treatment)
- Don't smoke (see Smoking and Heart Disease).
Exercise improves heart function, lowers blood pressure and bad cholesterol (LDL), raises good cholesterol (HDL), and boosts energy. Many people think this means having to do a lot of strenuous exercise every day. This is a myth. A moderate exercise program will help keep your heart and blood vessels in shape and promotes a lower blood pressure. The American Heart Association even classifies walking at a brisk pace for 30 to 60 minutes, three days a week, as "regular physical activity." Also, you don't have to fit all your physical activity into one exercise session. You can break it up into 10-minute sessions or whatever works best for you. Your healthcare provider can help you with come up with a good exercise plan to help in preventing heart disease.