In the United States, cardiovascular disease claims a person’s life every 34 seconds. Coronary artery disease (CAD), in turn, is the most common type of heart disease, affecting 20.1 million U.S. adults. CAD is also the leading cause of heart failure, in which the heart can no longer pump blood properly.

Although heart failure doesn’t mean the heart has stopped, it’s still deadly. That’s enough reason to educate yourself on heart failure prevention methods.

Below, we’ll share tips to help you keep your ticker pumping healthily, so read on.

1. Get Your Heart Tested for Disease

How to take care of your heart

Some common heart failure symptoms include fatigue, weakness, and abnormal heartbeat. Shortness of breath while doing a low-impact activity is another indication. Some people with a failing heart may also experience swelling in the belly, legs, ankles, and feet.

In many people, those signs can take weeks, even months, to appear from the onset of their heart failure. In others, the symptoms can occur immediately.

For those reasons, consider getting tests for heart failure before symptoms even arise. It’s even more crucial if you have existing or a family history of CAD, heart valve disease, or diabetes.

Those other conditions can heighten your risk of heart failure. Thus, controlling and treating them is imperative to preventing heart failure.

2. Keep Moving

heart-healthy activities

When you exercise, your heart beats a little faster and pumps a little more vigorously. Your heart does that because you’re making your body expend more energy and use up more oxygen.

All that extra work increases the size of your heart’s chambers. That helps your ticker relax more easily with succeeding exercise. It also improves your heart’s pumping efficiency even while at rest.

With improved pumping efficiency comes a healthy blood pressure level. This can help prevent heart failure as it makes your ticker pump without added strain.

On the other hand, high blood pressure damages the heart by forcing it to pump harder. Over time, it leads to a thickening of the left ventricle (lower left heart chamber). That can raise your risk of experiencing a heart attack or developing heart failure.

3. Limit Heart-Damaging Foods and Beverages

How to take care of your heart

Foods like butter, animal fats, and processed meat can contribute to atherosclerosis. It’s a condition in which plaque forms inside the arteries, including those near the heart.

That build-up restricts blood flow to the heart, leading to heart failure-causing CAD.

Foods with too much salt are also unhealthy because they can raise blood pressure. As mentioned above, high blood pressure is a risk factor for heart failure.

Then, there’s alcohol, which elevates blood pressure levels. It even increases triglycerides, a fatty substance linked to heart disease risk.

While it’s OK to eat those foods or drink alcohol, limit their consumption. You should also eat more plant-based food, like veggies, fruits, whole grains, fish, and lean meat.

Follow These Heart Failure Prevention Tips ASAP

Here’s one last statistic about heart failure: 20% of U.S. adults aged 40 or older will develop it over their lifetime.

That’s a good enough reason to follow all our heart failure prevention strategies. The sooner you do, the sooner you can condition your heart to pump as healthily and as long as possible.

To read more educational health and lifestyle guides like this, check out the rest of our blog now!

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