Heart disease is the leading cause of death, but did you know that it is both preventable and controllable? You can work your way toward heart healthy living one step at a time.
What is heart disease?
The term “heart disease” refers to several types of heart conditions. In the United States, the most common type is coronary heart disease (also called coronary artery disease), which occurs when there is a plaque build-up in the arteries that supply blood to the heart. Coronary heart disease can cause heart attack, angina, heart failure, and arrhythmias.
Each year, an estimated 715,000 Americans have a heart attack. 600,000 people die from heart disease in the United States each year—that’s 1 out of every 4 deaths.
While the statistics surrounding heart disease can be daunting, your endeavor toward a healthy heart needs only to begin one step at a time.
One Step at a Time
- Don’t become overwhelmed.It can be difficult knowing where to start.Make a list of attainable goals and start small. Maybe taking just one walk a week and make one heart-healthy dinner. When you can easily do that, increase your goal to two walks a week and two heart-healthy dinners. Every step brings you closer to a healthier heart.
- Don’t do it alone.The journey toward a heart healthy way of life is harder when you’re doing it alone. Encourage friends and family to join you. You can help encourage each other and celebrate success together.
- Don’t get discouraged.No one said it was going to be easy. You can’t do it all. If you miss a workout, or don’t make a healthy food choice, don’t beat yourself up. Get a good night’s sleep and start again tomorrow.
- Reward yourself.Don’t wait until you’re ready to give up before rewarding yourself. Offer yourself small rewards for progress such as a night out with friends, or tickets to that show you’ve been dying to see.