What you need to know to keep your heart healthy and strong for years to come
What is a Heart Attack?
A heart attack occurs when there is a blockage in one of the arteries leading to the heart. The blood carries oxygen to the heart and when this supply of oxygen is decreased or cut off all together, parts of the heart can become damaged, causing a heart attack.
What are the Symptoms of a Heart Attack?
The symptoms and severity of a heart attack can differ from person to person. If you feel unwell or experience any of these symptoms, it is important to get prompt medical attention.
Symptoms can include:
- Pain, pressure or a squeezing sensation in the chest
- Pain or discomfort in both or one arm
- Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
- Jaw pain or headache
- Sweating for no reason
- Extreme and sudden tiredness
- General feeling of being unwell
How Can I Prevent a Heart Attack?
Sometimes heart attacks are unpreventable and may happen due to a genetic predisposition. There are many ways, however to help decrease your risk factors and keep your heart strong and healthy for many years to come.
- Eat Healthy
A healthy diet that is low in saturated fats and high in fiber will help you to maintain healthy weight and cholesterol levels. This is one of the most important things that you can do to ensure good heart health and good overall health as well. By consuming a balanced diet that is rich in nutrients, low in processed foods and saturated fats you are providing your body with the fuel that it requires to function properly for a long time.
Moderate exercise is important. It helps to reduce your weight, keeps your blood pressure down, improves circulation and helps to strengthen the heart muscle. Cardiovascular or aerobic exercise is the best exercise for heart health and it is important that you chose an activity that you enjoy. Walking at a brisk pace, jogging, swimming, riding a bicycle or dancing are all great options that will improve the health of your heart. It is recommended that everyone gets 150 minutes of exercise a week for best results. It is important to check with a doctor before beginning any workout program to ensure that it is right for you and if at any point during an activity you experience pain or discomfort, stop immediately and seek medical attention.
- Quit Smoking
Smoking increases your heart rate and your blood pressure. It affects your lungs and the amount of oxygen in your blood. It also increases your risk of developing plaque in your veins and arteries and developing blood clots. Its old news that smoking is bad for you, so take the steps and try to quit. Talk to a doctor today about the options available to help you.
- Reduce Stress
When we are under constant stress it can take its toll on our bodies and on our heart. By finding ways to reduce stress, we can lower our heart rate and our blood pressure and increase the health of our heart. Taking time out every day to practice relaxation techniques can have a profound effect on our bodies. Simple activities like meditation, yoga, breathing exercises, tai chi, or even sitting down, clearing our minds and enjoying a cup of tea or a good book will help to calm you and will lead to better health and a more positive outlook on life.
If you would like to speak with a cardiologist or doctor by phone, video or text about your heart health or the risk factors for heart disease visit www.mylivemd.com. We pride ourselves on being able to provide you with the professional advice that you need to stay healthy.
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