Heart health is an important part of overall health. Cardiovascular diseases can lead to devastating events if left unchecked, so it’s vital to identify warning signs early on in order to take steps to reduce risks. Here are 7 warning signs of cardiovascular disease, and tips on how to keep your heart healthy and health.
1. Chest Pain and Discomfort
Chest pain is the most common warning sign of cardiovascular disease and it may feel like pressure or tightness. It can happen when the heart muscle is not getting enough oxygen-rich blood. If you experience chest pain or discomfort, contact your doctor.
2. Shortness of Breath
Shortness of breath can be a symptom of weakened or damaged heart muscles, which restricts the amount of oxygen-rich blood circulating in the body.
3. High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease and can increase the chance of heart attack, stroke or kidney failure. Keeping your blood pressure at a healthy level is important for maintaining overall heart health.
4. Unexplained Cough
Unexplained coughing is a sign of congestive heart failure, where the less efficient pumping of the heart can cause a build-up of fluid in the lungs.
5. Light-Headedness and Dizziness
Light-headedness and dizziness can result from lack of oxygen-rich blood getting to your brain or from not having enough muscle to keep the blood pumping.
6. Fatigue and Weakness
Fatigue and weakness can be caused by cardiovascular diseases as the heart has to work harder to pump the blood around your body. If you are feeling unusually fatigued and weak, it’s best to get checked by a doctor.
7. Swollen Legs and Feet
Swollen legs and feet can occur as a result of fluid retention and can be a sign of congestive heart failure.
How to Keep Your Heart Healthy and Healthy
There are several steps that can be taken to keep your heart healthy and healthy:
- Exercise regularly: Engaging in physical activities such as walking, biking, running, swimming or yoga can strengthen your heart muscles and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
- Eat heart-healthy foods: Making sure that you eat a balanced diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, nuts, fish, and whole grains can help lower your cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart diseases.
- Maintain a healthy weight: Maintaining a healthy weight can help reduce your risks of cardiovascular disease and other illnesses.
- Avoid smoking and secondhand smoke: Smoking and secondhand smoke can damage your heart and increase the risk of heart attack and stroke.
- Reduce stress levels: Long-term stress can increase your risk of heart disease. Finding quiet moments to relax and engage in activities such as yoga or guided meditation can help to reduce stress levels.
If you are experiencing any of the warning signs of cardiovascular disease, contact your doctor right away. Following these tips can help keep your heart healthy and keep you on the path to heart-healthy living.
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