Healthy Heart Tips | News – American Red Cross

Most people are familiar with health problems caused by transmissible diseases such as smallpox. However, our lifestyle choices lead to many of our health problems. Some of the most common health issues are related to the heart: heart disease, hypertension (high blood pressure), diabetes and many more. It is important to make the right choices to prevent such ailments so you can have a strong and healthy heart. 

1. Limit your alcohol consumption
Everyone needs some time to relax from the stresses of their everyday life, and sometimes it may be with a drink. However, it is very important to keep alcohol consumption to a moderate level to prevent serious health effects. The US Department of Health and Human Services recommends limiting alcohol to one glass (five ounces of wine or 12 ounces of beer) per day for women, and two glasses (10 ounces of wine or 24 ounces of beer) per day for men. Drinking too much can result not only in cardiovascular diseases, but also liver diseases, strokes and various forms of cancer.
2. Quit Smoking
Most people associate smoking with lung diseases but smoking also negatively affects the health of your heart. Additionally, smoking not only affects the smoker, but also the people around them. According to the American Heart Association, almost one-third of deaths from coronary heart disease are due to smoking as well as inhaling second-hand smoke. The American Heart Association further states that in addition to smoking, vaping can also lead to an increase in the risk of cardiovascular diseases. So, to protect your health as well as the health of your loved ones, stop smoking.
3. Eat healthy
Having a healthy diet is very important to the health of your heart. When trying to avoid eating unhealthy foods, remember the 4Fs rule: Fast food, Frozen food, Fried food, and Fatty food. It’s fine if you eat out once in a while, or you need to quickly heat a meal in the microwave to save time but avoid eating foods in the 4Fs category. They will lead to an unhealthy lifestyle. Cooking your own food is often the healthiest meal choice. 
4. Exercise
Staying active helps reduce the risk of heart diseases. Many people have jobs that require them to sit down and be inactive all day, so it is important to engage in some physical activity. You can run, go to your local gym or just take a daily walk in the park. 
5. Relieve your mental stress
According to the CDC, many mental health diseases such as depression, anxiety and stress can lead to adverse health effects because they critically reduce blood flow. It is very important to address your mental health. People have various stress factors in their life, such as their job. It’s beneficial to take some time every day to focus on your mental health by meditating, doing yoga, exercising, clearing up your mind at the park, or whatever it is that calms you and brings you peace.
6. Keep in mind your family history
Often, diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease and various cancers, can be passed down generations through genetics. It is important to be aware of such diseases to adequately prepare for them. If you have any concerns about the diseases in your family history, you can always check with your primary care physician so that they can help you figure out if there are any risks that you should know about.
Preventing a disease is always better than treating it because it can save you both time and money It also often leads to a happier lifestyle. However, not all diseases are preventable. So, it is important to have regular checkups with your doctor. Following these tips can help you not only live a healthier lifestyle, but also live life to the fullest!