Coronary artery disease, or CAD, is the top cause of death among American adults. Characterized by plaque accumulation in blood vessels that feed the heart, CAD can lead to heart attack and other cardiac issues.
Fortunately, besides medications, surgery, and other medical interventions, lifestyle changes can also help manage CAD. Read on to learn more.
Minimizing Your Risk Factors
While people who have coronary artery disease cannot mitigate risk factors such as age or heredity, there are other elements of health management that can positively impact how well you manage coronary artery disease. These are things you can do at home in your daily life. As such, you can feel empowered to have a healthier cardiovascular system and to manage any existing diagnoses, such as coronary artery disease. Here are some common management strategies.
Regular light to moderate aerobic exercise is best, such as walking, cycling, and swimming. Pick an activity you enjoy and stay with it on a consistent basis. Aim for at least 150 minutes per week. Check with your PCP or cardiologist for suggestions on the activity level best for you, and inquire about a program of supervised cardiac rehabilitation if you have had a heart attack or need coronary bypass surgery.
Exercise helps control any weight issues you may have, as well. Obesity does factor into a long list of chronic ailments, including clogged coronary and peripheral arteries.
Stop All Tobacco Usage
It’s not surprising that one of the best things you can do to manage CAD is quitting smoking. Nicotine constricts the coronary arteries and makes plaque adhere more easily to blood vessel walls.
So, talk to your healthcare provider about a monitored smoking cessation program. Many of these programs are free of charge and offer medications, support groups, and one-on-one coaching to help you on your smoke-free journey.
Cut Down on Alcohol
Cutting down means no more than one drink daily for women and two daily for men. Some people should have even less than this. Ask your provider what your limit should be.
Eat A Heart-Friendly Diet
The Mediterranean diet is one of the most highly recommended ways of curbing your appetite for high-fat, salty, sugary, and processed foods. This heart-friendly way of eating includes:
- Healthy oils and fats, such as olive oil
- Limited red meat
- Lean pork and poultry
- Three to four portions of vegetables and fruits daily
- Whole grains
- Nuts and legumes
- Seafood, such as trout, which contains healthy omega-3 fatty acids
- Low-fat dairy products, such as yogurt and skim milk
Control Your Blood Sugar, Blood Pressure, Cholesterol, and Stress
These measurements contribute to the development of a wide range of chronic health problems, including cardiovascular disease. Keep tabs on your “numbers,” and if you are diabetic or have hypertension, work closely with your PCP to control these conditions with medication and exercise.
Also, chronic life stress can worsen the impact of cardiovascular disease. So, learn ways to relax. Light to moderate exercise can help decrease feelings of anxiety and stress, as can yoga, praying, and meditation.
Coronary Artery Treatment in Sarasota, FL
Coronary artery disease is a serious medical condition. However, with the right treatment from an experienced cardiologist and diligent self-care at home, you can feel and function better and prevent complications. To learn more about CAD management, call the nearest location of Intercoastal Medical Group. We have nine staff cardiologists ready to help you enjoy better heart health. Or, you may request an appointment online.