See Your Doctor
When it comes to protecting your heart health, your healthcare provider is your top ally. Make an appointment for your annual checkup today. Most of us put off this 10-minute phone call. But it’s your best first step to learn about your health status and risk for diseases.
During your annual physical, your healthcare provider will most likely:
- Record your weight and height.
- Take your blood pressure.
- Order or review blood work so you know your numbers for total cholesterol and blood sugar.
- Track changes in your health.
- Talk about your family health history.
- Review your personal risk factors for heart disease.
Although you can’t control your age, family history, gender or ethnicity, there are risk factors you can control to lower your risk of heart disease and heart attack.
- High blood pressure: Keep your blood pressure within a normal range. High blood pressure places extra stress on the walls of your arteries.
- High cholesterol: Check your cholesterol levels regularly. High cholesterol increases your risk of heart disease. Your doctor may prescribe a cholesterol-lowering
medication to help lower your levels. Be sure to take it daily as prescribed.
- Smoking: If you currently smoke, quit. Nicotine has been shown to narrow arteries and destroy cells that line your arteries. Find a smoking cessation program at ProMedica.
- Physical activity: Start exercising! It increases your heart’s ability to pump blood. It also increases your heart rate which helps build a healthier heart. Aim for 150 minutes of moderate physical activity each week.
- Stress: Find ways to lower your stress levels – yoga, breathing exercises and walking – have all been shown to help. High stress can lead to high blood pressure and ultimately heart disease.
- Obesity: Manage your weight. Excess weight makes your heart work harder and increases your risk for high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes.
Any single risk factor will increase your likelihood of developing heart-related problems. The more risk factors you have, the more concerned you should be about prevention and treatment options.
Need a cardiologist?
ProMedica Physicians has the largest group of heart specialists in the region. Meet our team of heart specialists and schedule an appointment today!
Learn more on HealthConnect