Your chances of developing heart disease comes down to the number of risk factors you have for it. The more factors, the higher chance of getting it. Let’s take a look at 10 of the common risk factors of heart disease:
- High blood pressure
- High blood cholesterol
- Diabetes and pre-diabetes
- Being overweight or obese
- Being physically inactive
- Unhealthy diet
- Having a family history of early heart disease
- Having a history of preeclampsia during pregnancy
If you have a propensity toward high blood pressure, high cholesterol or diabetes, it may be genetic-related but even so, all three are controllable with the proper diet, exercise and medication. Keeping them in check will lower your chances of contracting heart disease, however, you first have to know your numbers.
How does your blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar stack up against the standards for each bodily vital? By getting an annual health check-up, not only will you know your numbers, but your healthcare provider can prescribe treatment to get any of your high numbers back where they should be.
As far as the risk factors of smoking, overweight, being sedentary and eating an unhealthy diet, all of these are also completely within your control. There are several programs available at your local pharmacy to help you overcome smoking, but none of them will work unless you are mentally prepared to quit.
And once you become more active through exercising and eating a healthy diet, the weight you want to lose will start coming off. Here again, losing weight, exercising and eating healthy are things you have to want to do to improve your health and longevity … not the things others would like you to do.
As long as you are at the doctor getting checked out, ask for your doctor’s advice on quitting smoking, losing weight, getting more exercise and eating a more healthy diet. All you need is the will and a plan to overcome them and those risk factors will be at or close to zero.
With all of the risk factors except the last three in your control, you have greatly reduced your risk of heart disease and lowered your chances of having a heart-related event. While you can’t control the last three factors, you can have an effect on the other seven.
Start taking the steps to lower your risk of heart disease today. Tomorrow may be too late to get a second chance.