Every journey begins with one step, whether it’s climbing a mountain or preventing heart disease. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women, but heart disease is preventable and controllable.
Heart disease is a major problem. Every year, about 715,000 Americans have a heart attack. About 600,000 people die from heart disease in the United States each year—that’s 1 out of every 4 deaths. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women.
The term “heart disease” refers to several types of heart conditions. The most common type in the United States is coronary heart disease (also called coronary artery disease), which occurs when a substance called plaque builds up in the arteries that supply blood to the heart. Coronary heart disease can cause heart attack, angina, heart failure, and arrhythmias.
Heart disease is preventable and controllable. We can start by taking small steps every day to bring our loved ones and ourselves closer to heart health.
One Step at a Time
As you begin your journey to better heart health, keep these things in mind:
•Don’t become overwhelmed. Every step brings you closer to a healthier heart.
•Don’t go it alone. The journey is more fun when you have company. Ask friends and family to join you.
•Don’t get discouraged. You may not be able to take all of the steps at one time. Get a good night’s sleep and do what you can tomorrow.
•Reward yourself. Find fun things to do to decrease your stress. Round up some colleagues for a lunchtime walk, join a singing group, or have a healthy dinner with your family or friends.
Plan for Prevention
Some health conditions and lifestyle factors can put people at a higher risk for developing heart disease. You can help prevent heart disease by making healthy choices and managing any medical conditions you may have.
- Eat a healthy diet.
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Exercise regularly
- Monitor your blood pressure
- Don’t smoke
- Limit alcohol use
- Have your cholesterol checked
- Manage your diabetes
- Take your medicine
For more ideas about simple steps to take every day for better heart health, visit http://www.cdc.gov/Features/HeartMonth/