Health & Safety

February 1, 2013

Four ways to lower your risk for heart disease

tricareOne out of every four women dies from heart disease in the U.S., according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

It’s the top killer of U.S. women and men.

Heart disease begins with damage to the lining inside the heart’s arteries. Certain factors contribute to this damage, including smoking, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and high blood sugar.

However, you can help lower your risk for heart disease, and here are the top four ways to do it:

1) Maintain a Healthy Weight

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says that being overweight raises your risk for developing heart disease. Therefore, make sure that you maintain a healthy weight–or Body Mass Index (BMI)–for your height.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offer a BMI calculator on their website. After typing in your height and weight, the BMI calculator (http://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/assessing/bmi/adult_bmi/english_bmi_calculator/bmi_calculator.html) will show if you’re within a healthy weight range. Should you discover you need to lose weight:

  • Look at ways to exercise more throughout the week
  • Consider decreasing your meal’s portion sizes
  • Eat more fruits, vegetables, and lean meats (such as poultry or fish)

2) Try to Quit Smoking

Smoking is a major risk factor for heart disease. The nicotine in cigarettes increases blood pressure; and high blood pressure damages your heart’s arteries. Smoking can also cause blood clotting and may directly damage cells that line arteries in your heart.

3) Monitor Your Blood Pressure–and Lower it if Necessary

“Years of high blood pressure can lead to heart disease,” says the Department of Health and Human Services on its website. “People with high blood pressure often have no symptoms, so have your blood pressure checked every one to two years and get treatment if you need it.”

Besides medication, you can lower your blood pressure by losing weight, limiting stress (or coping with it well) and exercising at least two hours and 30 minutes each week.

4) Get Tested for Diabetes and High Cholesterol Regularly

Too much cholesterol can clog your arteries and keep your heart from getting the blood it needs. And having diabetes raises your chances of developing heart disease. With both these issues, the only way to detect something wrong is through a blood test.

You can lower cholesterol by losing weight and eating a healthy diet full of fruits, vegetables and whole grains. And while you cannot fix diabetes once it’s been diagnosed, you can help prevent it by maintaining a healthy weight and getting plenty of exercise.

 




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Air Force graphic by Rebecca Amber

Being prepared in earthquake country

Air Force graphic by Rebecca Amber For National Preparedness Month, this September, the Edwards AFB Office of Emergency Management is focusing on Califorina’s most prominent natural disaster – earthquakes. Throughou...
 
 
ecig

Danger: Electronic cigarettes can blow more than smoke

According to a 2014 Center for Disease Control report, cigarette smoking in our nation has reportedly been the cause of nearly 480,000 deaths, with more than 41,000 of these deaths caused by secondhand smoke. In an attempt to l...
 
 
tobacco

Tobacco cessation in-person group classes

Quitting tobacco use can be an uphill battle, but fortunately there are resources to help you overcome this battle. The Health and Wellness Center at Edwards AFB offers confidential small group cessation classes based on the Am...
 

 
tricare

TRICARE Nurse Advice Line offers health care guidance

TRICARE beneficiaries in the continental U.S., Alaska and Hawaii can now access the Nurse Advice Line to receive health care guidance and advice. The service, launched in April 2014, offers professional help by phone at a momen...
 
 

CHPS offers InBody Test

Are you on a diet, looking to get in shape, or trying to maximize performance? Or maybe concerned about your weight? Edwards Civilian Health Promotion Services invites DOD civilians to experience the InBody Test. The InBody is a convenient and accurate way to measure and monitor your body composition. The InBody measures and reports the...
 
 
self-defense2

Edwards defender helps teach self-defense down range

Air Force photograph by Staff Sgt. Jeremy Bowcock Right: Staff Sgt. Cameron Cochran (dark shirt), 387th Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron assistant flight chief, demonstrates one way to push away an attacker during a self-...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>