Heart disease is the number-one killer of both men and women in the United States—one in four people die from it.
The good news is that you can start today to keep your heart healthy. According to Bruce Campbell, MD, Chair of Executive Health at Lahey Hospital & Medical Center, you can reduce your risk for heart disease by following these “fabulous four” practices:
- Don’t smoke—if you smoke now, get help to quit.
- Achieve a body mass index (BMI) of less than 25 or a waist circumference of less than 37 inches—if you’re having trouble losing weight, talk to your doctor or contact Lahey’s Medical Weight Loss Program.
- Consume at least five fruits and veggies every day—they are high in vitamins, minerals, and fiber and low in calories.
- Exercise at least 30 minutes a day, five days a week—a brisk walk is a good way to stay active.
“Studies show that doing all four reduces your risk for developing heart disease by 85 percent,” Dr. Campbell says. “Unfortunately, only 3 percent of Americans do all four.”
If you aren’t currently practicing the fab four, remember it’s never too late to start. Dr. Campbell points out that adopting a healthy lifestyle—even in middle age—has been shown to decrease your chances of developing heart disease. And the benefits begin in a short period of time.
“Make it a priority to keep your heart healthy,” Dr. Campbell says.
*The content on this website is for informational purposes only and is not medical advice. Please consult a physician regarding your specific medical condition, diagnosis and/or treatment.