Lifestyle Changes and Cardiovascular Disease Risk Reduction in Internal Medicine

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) – encompassing conditions like heart attack and stroke – remains one of the leading causes of mortality worldwide. The good news? Many risk factors for CVD are modifiable through lifestyle changes. Here is how working with your internal medicine doctor and incorporating these changes can significantly reduce your risk of heart disease:

Embracing a Heart-Healthy Diet

Your internal medicine doctor can guide you toward a dietary approach that promotes heart health. Here are some key principles:

  • Limit unhealthy fats:

Aim to decrease consumption of processed meats, fried foods, and baked goods with high levels of saturated and trans fats. Opt for healthier fats in olive oil, avocados, and fatty fish.

  • Increase fruits and vegetables:

Aim for a colorful plate filled with fruits and vegetables, brimming with vitamins, minerals, and fiber, all crucial for cardiovascular health.

  • Choose whole grains:

Swap refined grains for whole grains like brown rice, quinoa, and whole-wheat bread. Whole grains provide sustained energy and can help keep you feeling fuller for longer.

  • Moderate salt intake:

Excessive salt can raise blood pressure, a major risk factor for CVD. When cooking, the best course of action is limiting usage of processed foods and adding too much salt.

Exercise for a Healthy Heart

Consistent physical activity is key to a healthy heart. Aim for at least 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise weekly or 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise. Activities like brisk walking, cycling, swimming, or dancing are all excellent choices.

Your internal medicine clinic can help tailor a safe and effective cardiovascular exercise plan based on your fitness level and existing health conditions if there are any.

Manage Stress

Chronic stress can also negatively impact your cardiovascular health. Relaxation techniques (i.e., deep breathing, meditation, or yoga) can significantly reduce stress. Talk to your internal medicine doctor for guidance on the best stress management strategies for you.

Quit Smoking

Smoking is among the leading risk factors for CVD. Quitting smoking allows for immediate and long-term benefits for your heart health. Your internal medicine doctor can recommend smoking cessation programs and medications to support you on this journey.

Wrap Up

Preventing heart disease is an ongoing process. By working with your internal medicine doctor and adopting these heart-healthy habits, you can significantly reduce your risk of CVD and invest in a healthier, happier you. To learn more about how changing your lifestyle and visiting medical professionals can help prevent cardiovascular disease, check out NowServing PH. This telemedicine platform aims to make healthcare services more accessible to Filipinos.

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