While some people are certainly predisposed to particular diseases, others may suffer from an illness based on outside factors, such as environment and physical health. In the U.S. alone, about 610,000 people die of heart disease each year. With these alarming statistics, you probably want to do everything possible to ensure you’re at the lowest risk possible for having a heart attack.
We spoke with Dr. Allan Stewart, director of aortic surgery and co-director of the Valve Center at The Mount Sinai Hospital, to learn more. According to Stewart, when associated with a heart problem, more subtle symptoms, such as stomach issues, dizziness, nausea, or shortness of breath, typically reveal themselves in patients who have risk factors. “Smoking, obesity, sedentary people, folks with high blood pressure or poorly controlled diabetes can increase the risk of heart disease.”
“There are several ways to prevent the progression of coronary artery disease, and therefore reduce the chances of a heart attack,” Stewart said. Here are seven ways to reduce the chances of a heart attack.
It’s common knowledge that we all need exercise to live a healthy lifestyle, but the key is getting the right amount of exercise for an adequate amount of time. “The goal here is 30 minutes of aerobic exercise, at least four days a week,” Stewart said. “I tell my patients all the time, the most important feature on any piece of exercise equipment is the On/Off switch! Sorry, to all of you golfers, the goal here is sustained heart rate elevation. Golfing is not aerobic exercise.” Whatever kind of exercise you swear by, just make sure you’re getting your heart rate up.