The Spanish Heart Foundation has developed a decalogue of tips to prevent cardiovascular diseases:
- Follow a heart healthy diet: balanced and varied. Fruits, vegetables, fish, olive oil, lean meats, cereals and skimmed milk should not be missing from your kitchen. Remember: salt, sugar and alcohol only in small amounts.
- Practice 30 minutes of exercise daily: Choose the exercise that best suits your physical condition: walking, dancing, running, outdoor activities… Just move for your health!
- Do not smoke: And if you do, quit! Even when you barely smoke, the risk of having a cardiovascular or cerebral disease increases. Seek some help if you cannot do it alone. Your doctor will evaluate your condition and advise you how to achieve it. Where there is a will, there is a way!
- Control your weight:. Measure your Body Mass Index (BMI). It is easy: divide your weight in kilograms by your height in meters and square the result. If the result is higher than 25 kg/m2 is considered overweight. Higher than 30 kg/m2 is obesity.
- Monitor the fat accumulated in the abdomen, since it is dangerous for the heart. Measure your waistline exactly at the level of the navel. In
women should be under 88 cm and in men below 102 cm..
- Check your blood pressure: Check your blood pressure. If you are healthy, verify that your pressure is still below 140/90 mmHg. If you are suffering from hypertension, your values should also be below that number. If you have already had a cardiovascular, cerebrovascular or kidney problem or even if you are diabetic, your blood pressure should to stay below 130/80 mmHg. In these cases, control and preventive actions need to be regular.
- Check your cholesterol and glucose levels: The best way to keep them at bay is to eat healthy and exercise. If after a fasting blood test your numbers are above 190mg/ dL of total cholesterol and 110 Mg/dL glucose, you should see a specialist.
- Know your cardiovascular risk and what should be your lifestyle: Go to the doctor with a physical examination and your personal and family history. Ask him everything you need to know: what diet to follow, what exercises to do, which factors can harm your health…Acting on time is the key to reducing the risks.
- Share your questions and problems: To exchange experiences allows you to learn and set an example, so other people become interested in taking care of their hearts. Count on them!
- Learn to control stress and anxiety:. Increased emotional stress is dangerous for the heart. Stress at home and at work makes it more difficult to follow a heart-healthy lifestyle. Relax!