Are You at Risk for Heart Disease?

According to the Singapore Heart Foundation, sixteen people die from cardiovascular diseases every day in Singapore. While some of the things that put you at a greater risk for heart disease are things you cannot change (like age, sex, and genetics), there are far more things that you can control. Here is a list of things that can put you at risk for heart disease, as well as some tips on how to change them.

1. Smoking

Smoking can be one of the most significant risk factors for developing heart disease. Chemicals in tobacco damages your heart and blood vessels. Tobacco tar can cause a clog in your arteries, which leads to plaque build-up, reducing blood flow and forcing your heart to pump harder.

Smoking puts you at risk not only for heart disease but also for other types of diseases like respiratory diseases and various cancers. Even alternatives, like smokeless tobacco, low-tar, and low-nicotine cigarettes can be harmful. Even secondhand smoke can be dangerous, raising the risk of heart disease in children and strangers. If you are a smoker, try asking your cardiologist for plans and programs to kick your habit of smoking.

2. Stagnant lifestyle

A stagnant lifestyle is another thing that puts you at risk for heart disease. Doctors recommend regular exercise at least thrice a week for twenty minutes. Your cardiologist may recommend aerobic exercises, as it is the best type of exercises to lower the risk of heart disease. Exercises like brisk walking, jogging, and swimming are good to keep your heart healthy. In addition to aerobic exercises, strength exercises for at least two days per week is a good way to keep a healthy heart.

Even if you don’t reach the required number of hours of exercise per week, shorter sets of workout can still be effective in curbing cardiovascular illness. If you have family history of such disease, get your heart treated by a doctor here in Singapore, and ask for advices about the exercises safe for you to do. Even with just five to ten minutes of brisk walk daily, it’s more than enough to lower your risk of heart ailment.

3. Diet

An active lifestyle paired with a healthy diet is one of the best things that you could do for your heart. A diet with a lot of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains are good ways to protect your heart. Include beans, low-fat or fat-free dairy, and fish while avoiding salt and sugars. The biggest consideration you would have to make in your diet is the sources of fat in your food. Try to avoid unsaturated and trans-fat (like red meat, fried food, and baked products) and seek out plant-based fat (like avocado, nuts and olives). Fatty fish (like salmon and tuna) may also lower your risk of heart disease.

4. Manage your weight

While weight can be affected by genetic factors, there are still a lot of decisions that you could make to make sure that your weight stays in the healthy range. If you are particularly obese, you may need to go for regular heart check up and a heart screening in Singapore more often. However, your heart doctor can work with you to create a meal plan that prioritizes the health of your heart while considering your lifestyle and other illnesses.

5. Alcohol

While there are many studies stating that alcohol can be beneficial in moderation, these studies remain inconclusive. However, there is indisputable evidence that states that excessive drinking heightens your risk of heart disease, along with other diseases like liver and kidney complications. If you drink excessive levels of alcohol, it is a good idea to find a way to lessen your drinking.

6. Bad sleep patterns

A lack of sleep can cause a host of complications like a higher risk of obesity, diabetes, and depression, and heart disease. Making sure that you have a good sleep schedule can help your heart, along with other aspects of health. Waking up naturally, without the use of alarm clocks, is one of the ways that can help you have a better sleep pattern. Before sleeping, make sure that you stay away from artificial light, including electronics and light bulbs. Try to create a good sleep environment by keeping your room dark, cool, and quiet.

7. Stress

Stress can be detrimental to health in many aspects. In the physical sense, however, it mostly manifests as a heart problem, like arrhythmia or high blood pressure. Your heart specialist may recommend you a list of activities to manage your stress, like doing relaxation techniques or mindfulness meditation. Walks in nature can also help, as well as journaling.

8. Monitor blood pressure and cholesterol

High blood pressure or hypertension can put a huge pressure on your blood vessels. Although hypertension can be genetic, it can be curbed with the right diet and enough exercise. Abnormal levels of cholesterol can lead to high blood pressure, so it’s always in your best interest to make sure that your levels are monitored by a licensed physician.

There are numerous high-blood monitors available on the market that allows you to check your high blood pressure yourself. Paired with regular check-ups to your heart doctor in Singapore, you could make sure that your heart stays as healthy as it could be. Make sure that in every visit, you get check-ups of your weight, high blood pressure, and glucose levels. If necessary, your physician can refer you to a cardiologist who can give you a heart screening.

The best cardiologist will not only focus on treating symptoms of heart disease but will also work with you holistically to make sure that further complications do not arise. If necessary, you could ask your general physician for recommendations, or check the list at your local cardiology center.