According to cardiologist Clyde Yancy, M.D., former president of the American Heart Association and professor of medicine at Northwestern University, people can achieve optimal health by making these lifestyle changes:
Get active. People who are physically inactive are twice as likely to be at risk for heart disease. Inactivity can shave almost four years off your expected lifespan.
Manage cholesterol levels. Almost 40% of adults have high blood cholesterol. This can lead to the buildup of fatty deposits in your blood, which can increase your risk for heart disease.
Follow a healthy diet. Improve your health by meeting healthy eating recommendations. Try to focus on a low-fat, low-sodium diet.
Control blood pressure. High blood pressure affects one in five individuals. By controlling your blood pressure you can reduce your risk of stroke and heart attack.
Maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight or obese are major risk factors for heart disease, and being obese can reduce your lifespan by almost four years.
Manage diabetes. Diabetes increases the risk of high blood pressure, atherosclerosis, coronary artery disease, and stroke, particularly if your blood sugar levels are poorly controlled.
Be tobacco free. As soon as you become smoke-free, your risk of heart disease begins to decrease. After 15 years, your risk will be nearly that of a non-smoker.
Yancy calls on governments to invest in steady and focused prevention strategies to help people achieve healthy aging. Necessary initiatives include a change in current sodium policies, continued progress in tobacco-control initiatives, increased green space, and health education. Improved access to health care that focuses on prevention and control of important risk factors, including high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes, is also key.
Acupuncture & Massage College’s Community Clinic offers acupuncture, massage therapy, and herbal medicine for the treatment of a wide range of health conditions as well as for overall wellness. To schedule an appointment call (305) 595-9500. For information about AMC’s Oriental Medicine and Massage Therapy programs ask for Joe Calareso, Admissions Director.