You don’t need to wait for a diagnosis of a heart or vascular condition to focus on feeling better and having more energy. Because that’s what having a strong heart does – pumps oxygen-rich blood through your body to provide nutrients to your brain, your feet, even your stomach.
Building a strong heart and vascular system is based on some of the general standards of achieving good health:
- Getting adequate exercise.
- Eating nutritious-rich foods like vegetables, fruits, grains and protein – plus, avoiding foods high in sugar, fat and salt. And, paying attention to appropriate portions.
- Getting to a healthy weight and maintaining it.
- Managing existing health issues, like diabetes, high blood pressure and depression.
- Quitting smoking.
- Limiting or avoiding alcohol.
- Getting enough rest and sleep.
- Identifying stress and getting help if needed to manage it.
When you review the list, you can see where you need improvement, as well as the areas you’re doing better in. What’s important is to take action toward better health – even small steps add up over time and can make a difference when employed consistently.
If you need help getting started, make an appointment with your primary care provider. Your provider can help by reviewing your blood pressure, cholesterol, blood glucose levels, family risk factors and weight. Looking at these will help your provider know if you need any screening tests. In addition, he or she may be able to offer solutions to help you quit smoking, reach a healthier weight, manage stress or depression and sleep better.
While heart disease is the leading cause of death for women and men, the good news is that in most cases, it can be prevented with a healthier lifestyle. Talking to your primary care provider is a great place to start!
If you don’t have a provider, most Goshen Physicians offices are welcoming new patients. Find a location near you at https://goshenhealth.com/health-library/primary-care-doctors-welcoming-new-patients.