There are many factors that can increase your risk of developing heart disease. These are called risk factors. The more risk factors you have, the greater your chances of developing heart disease. The main risk factors are:

  • high blood pressure (hypertension)
  • smoking
  • high cholesterol
  • diabetes,
  • sedentary or inactive lifestyle
  • being overweight or obese
  • family history of heart disease

Other factors that affect your risk of developing heart disease include:

  • advancing age
  • male gender
  • unhealthy diet
  • excessive alcohol consumption

The good news is heart disease can often be prevented by leading a healthy lifestyle. Here are simple steps that you can take at any age to keep your heart healthy:

  • Eat a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables, fiber-rich whole grains, fish, nuts, legumes and seeds. Choose lower fat dairy products and poultry (skinless). Limit sugar-sweetened beverages and red meat. If you choose to eat meat, select the leanest cuts.
  • Stay active. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity (e.g., brisk walking) every week or 1 hour and 15 minutes (75 minutes) of vigorous intensity aerobic physical activity (e.g., jogging, running) or a combination of both every week.
  • Additionally, on 2 or more days a week, do muscle-strengthening activities that work all major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest shoulders, and arms). Children should get at least 60 minutes of activity every day.
  • Learn the warning signs of a heart attack and stroke. Not everyone experiences sudden numbness with a stroke or severe chest pain with a heart attack. Remember: heart attack symptoms in women can be different than men.

Consult your doctor about ways to lower your risk for heart disease. Shop at Watsons for your essential healthcare needs.



References: Accessed 16 February 2021 Accessed 16 February 2021

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