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 Fitness Management System II up, accessible

The new Air Force Fitness Management System ñ AFFMS II ñ is now up and accessible via the Air Force Personnel Center Secure Application, Air Force Personnel Center officials said. AFFMS II enables Airmen to review their fitness history and records through July 2010. The previous system was taken off line Dec. 31 to enable...
 
 
Air Force photograph by Ethan Wagner

Edwards AFB’s Biomedical Sciences Corps team celebrates 50 years

Air Force photograph by Ethan Wagner The Biomedical Sciences Corps is made up of 2,400 professionals in a range of fields including optometry. Maj. Jade Texcell provides an optometry exam to an Airman.   Do you enjoy havin...
 
 
sharps

Safe personal disposal of sharps

At the 412th Medical Group, we recognize proper management and disposal of sharps safely reduces pollution, prevents injury, and averts disease transmission. A sharp is generally any hypodermic needle, pen needle, intravenous n...
 

 
flu

Flu season: What you need to know

Flu is officially upon us. If you have ever had the flu, you know it can knock you out ó with members of your family, friends and co-workers not far behind. Today, it’s more important than ever to get your facts straight...
 
 
driving-safety

Driving safely on snow or icy roads

Unless you’re traveling through the mountains of Southern California in the winter, driving in the snow doesn’t occur very often. First off, don’t assume your vehicle can handle any road condition. Even four-w...
 
 

Thinking about urgent care? The Nurse Advice Line Can Help

When an urgent health problem arises, it is hard to know whether you should try to tough it out or seek medical care. Luckily, TRICARE beneficiaries can call the Nurse Advice Line to get advice on their health care questions. Not all health problems require a visit with a medical specialist but a Registered Nurse...
 




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>