You shouldn't spend all your days worrying about whether you’re going to have a heart attack. The stress isn't worth it. Nonetheless, there's a great deal of benefit from occasionally taking stock of your heart attack risk. In addition to helping you determine how to minimize the likelihood that you’ll suffer a heart attack, it also will help you better understand your overall cardiovascular health. Next time you have a few minutes, sit down and consider these factors to determine your possible risk of a heart attack:
Are you a smoker?
One of the most harmful activities you can engage in, in terms of your health, is smoking tobacco regularly. While the tobacco itself is a problem, all of the additives found in commercial tobacco products only make things worse. The American Heart Association reports that cigarettes have over 4,000 different chemical compounds in them, hundreds of which have been proven to be detrimental to the human body. Cigarettes may also elevate heart rate, restrict blood flow and harm circulation, all increasing your risk for a heart attack. If you're a smoker and you're ready to quit, speak with your doctor about options to help you break the addiction.
What are your exercise habits like?
It's extremely important to your overall health that you exercise regularly. Maintaining a physically active lifestyle not only reduces your risk of a heart attack, it could also reduce your weight, cholesterol, stress and more. If you're concerned that you may not be getting enough exercise, take a moment to consider how frequently you're getting to the gym. According to The Mayo Clinic, the average person should aim to get at least 30 minutes of moderately intense exercise a day. If you aren't exercising this often, then your risk for a heart attack may be heightened.
What needs to change in your diet?
What you eat becomes the fuel your body uses to power its functions. With this in mind, constantly snacking on the wrong things could lead you to a heightened risk of heart disease or heart attack. You may want to speak with your doctor or a dietitian to determine what your current dietary needs are, but there are some overarching rules to follow. Limit your consumption of processed or fried foods, focusing instead on natural ingredients such as fruits and vegetables. Many junk- or fast-food dishes could raise your LDL cholesterol; elevated readings may lead to clogged arteries, making it harder for your heart to function.