Our heartbeat gives a rhythm to our lives. It is important to take care of your heart health to keep that rhythm going.
Heart disease is the No. 1 cause of death worldwide. Even when heart conditions don’t result in death, they can cause disability and reduce quality of life. Fortunately, when it comes to your heart health, small things can have a big impact. Taking medications as prescribed, getting routine checkups and making healthy choices can help keep the beat — and your heart — going strong.
Take Your Medication as Prescribed
Did you know that taking your medication as directed can save your life? People with conditions like high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes have a higher risk of heart disease. For those patients, not taking medication correctly can cause serious health complications. For example, not taking your blood pressure medication as directed can lead to heart disease, stroke and kidney failure.
Medicine is prescribed to help you. However, you can’t get the benefits from it if you don’t take it correctly. Talk to your health care professional if you are having trouble taking your medication as prescribed, no matter the reason.
Get Routine Checkups
Regular routine checkups are key to heart health. Your health care provider may run several screening tests during your visits to check your blood pressure, cholesterol, body mass index and blood glucose levels. By keeping an eye on these important health numbers, you and your provider can take action to prevent or treat any medical conditions that could lead to heart disease.
Make Healthy Choices
A heart-healthy lifestyle can lower your risk for heart disease, heart attack and stroke. Consider how you can incorporate these healthy choices into your everyday life:
- Be physically active every day. The American Heart Association* recommends at least 150 minutes per week of moderate physical activity to help lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol and keep your weight at a healthy level.Know what to do if you are sick.
- Choose a healthy diet. Say “yes” to fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Say “no” to salt, saturated fat and added sugar. Drink more water and cut back on sugary drinks and alcohol.
- Quit smoking. It’s not easy to quit smoking, but it’s one of the best things you can do for your health. Ask your doctor about resources that can help you quit.
Make these heart-healthy habits part of the rhythm of your life to keep the beat going.
*The American Heart Association is an independent organization that offers health information you may find helpful.
Heart Health Infographic