Back to basics: 7 ways you can help prevent heart failure

Back to basics: 7 ways you can help prevent heart failure

Heart failure is a challenging condition when the heart can’t pump enough blood to other areas of the body.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heart failure affects approximately 5.7 million American adults and can have devastating – and even fatal – consequences.

“Heart failure can significantly impact one’s quality of life, including an individual’s ability to perform physical or social functions,” says Dr. Robert Martin, a family medicine physician at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center in Chicago. “While this condition can be managed with the help of a clinical team, I encourage my patients to take a proactive approach to prevent future heart problems.”

Here are seven tips to prevent heart failure, according to the American Heart Association:

  1. Maintain a healthy weight and stay within a healthy body mass index range.
  2. Make sure to drink plenty of water and stay hydrated.
  3. Minimize alcohol and caffeine intake.
  4. Eat a well-rounded diet with a focus on fruits and vegetables. Avoid salty foods.
  5. Exercise at least 30 minutes per day to strengthen your heart.
  6. Be aware of your stress levels, and find an outlet like yoga or meditation to manage them.
  7. Aim to get 7-9 hours of sleep every night.

Want to learn more about your risk for heart disease? Take a free online quiz.

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  1. I am a little confused about tip number 2 that says drink plenty of water. I thought that heart failure patients need to watch the amount of water they consume, unless that has changed over the years?

    • These are tips on how to prevent heart failure, so I would assume the tip is for someone who does not have heart failure.

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health enews Staff
health enews Staff

health enews staff is a group of experienced writers from our Advocate Health Care and Aurora Health Care sites, which also includes freelance or intern writers.