SEATTLE — Heart disease is the leading cause of death in men and women in the U.S., so it’s important to keep your heart healthy.
Heart disease can include a range of conditions, like manageable high blood pressure, various artery diseases, and serious cardiac arrest. Risk factors include age, family history, smoking, unhealthy diet, and a sedentary lifestyle.
“Some of these risks are things that you can’t control, like your age over 65 or your family history,” said Dr. Madalina Petrescu, cardiologist at EvergreenHealth. “Can’t really change that. But the other ones are modifiable.”
A holistic approach to heart health can help lower your risk of disease and support healing. Dr. Petrescu gives tips to focus on your mind, body and spirit.
- Eat a heart healthy diet.
- “When we’re not eating healthy, we’re actually actively contributing to all of the risk factors for heart disease,” Dr. Petrescu said.
- A heart healthy diet means cutting back on processed foods and high saturated fat meat sources and eating greens frequently, as well as plant-based food, vegetables, fruits, and lean sources of protein.
- Start moving.
- Doing 30 minutes a day of moderate intensity activity five days a week lowers your risk of heart disease. Increase activity by getting up and walking around during the work day, parking further away from the store, or taking the stairs.
- Limit alcohol and quit smoking.
- Smoking is one of the biggest risk factors for heart disease, while excessive alcohol consumption can lead to high blood pressure, heart failure or stroke.
- Monitor your stress and mental health.
- “When there’s chronic stress, people end up using unhealthy ways to cope with that stress,” Dr. Petrescu said.
- Practice self-care, meditate, journal, and/or get out into nature to improve your mental health and decrease stress levels.
- Get proactive about your health.
- Understand your family's medical history, establish care with a primary care provider, and ask questions.
“It really starts at home,” Dr. Petrescu said. “Taking and incorporating some of these holistic approaches, you can start right now.”
EvergreenHealth Heart Care offers clinically sophisticated diagnostic treatment and rehabilitation for heart disease and heart attacks. EvergreenHealth also partners with Overlake Medical Center & Clinics on cardiology and vascular care services to further ensure patients have access to fully comprehensive and highly coordinated care.
Visit evergreenhealth.com/heart to learn more about heart care services.
Segment Producer Joseph Suttner. Watch New Day Northwest 11 a.m. weekdays on KING 5 and streaming live on KING5.com. Contact New Day.