Cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of mortality in developed countries. Dr. Perez Paredes, expert in Cardiology in Murcia, talks about ten essential rules provided by the Spanish Heart Foundation.
Ten rules to avoid cardiovascular diseases
- Follow a heart-healthy diet: it is very important to have a balanced and balanced diet, so it is necessary to reduce the consumption of salt, sugar and alcohol. It is important to eat fruits, vegetables, fish, olive oil, lean meats, cereals and skimmed dairy products.
- Exercise daily: it is very important to do 30 minutes of exercise daily, adapting it to the physical condition of each person.
- Do not smoke: it is very important to give up this habit, since smoking multiplies the risk of suffering heart attacks or strokes.
- Control the weight: it is very important to measure the Body Mass Index (BMI), to see if we are at our optimal weight. What you have to do is to divide the weight in kilos by the height in meters squared. When the result exceeds 25 kg/m2 it is considered overweight, but when it exceeds 30 kg/m2 it is considered obese.
- Monitor the accumulation of fat in the abdomen: fat located in this area is very dangerous for the heart, so it is necessary to measure the abdominal perimeter located in the area below the navel. Women should be below 88 cm and men below 102 cm.
- Check blood pressure: despite being a healthy person, it is very important to check that blood pressure is below 140/90 mmHg. This control should be done annually, especially if you are hypertensive to check that you are below this figure. Those patients who have suffered cardiovascular, cerebrovascular, renal or diabetic problems, blood pressure should be below 130/80 mmHg, with continuous controls.
- Check cholesterol and glucose levels: it is important to keep them under control through a healthy diet and exercise. To control this, a fasting blood test should be performed. If these tests exceed 190 mg/dl cholesterol and 110 mg/dl glucose, it is important to consult a doctor.
- Know your cardiovascular risk and the lifestyle you should follow: you should see your doctor for a physical examination and explore your personal and family history. It is important to consult the doctor about all the doubts that arise, taking into account those that refer to the diet to follow, exercises that can be done, factors harmful to health, etc. The most important thing is to prevent, so the key is to act in time to reduce these risks.
- Share your doubts and problems: it is important to exchange experiences, something that will allow you to learn and set an example to other people interested in taking care of their heart. The family is an encouragement and support to overcome difficulties in meeting health goals, so you have to count on them.
- Learn to manage stress and anxiety: increased emotional tension is a danger to the heart, so it is important to avoid stress at home and at work to ensure a heart-healthy lifestyle.
If these measures cannot be followed or the risk factors cannot be suppressed, the physician or cardiologists will add the most appropriate drugs to achieve risk reduction. Strict adherence to medical treatment is essential, as well as regular clinical check-ups to minimize risk.