Richard A Cohn MD - Cardiology

Leading a healthy lifestyle can help prevent the risks of heart disease.

Click on these Heart Healthy links for more information and help towards leading a healthier lifestyle!

Low-Cholesterol Recipes

Low-Fat Recipes

Heart Healthy Exercise Tips

Exercise for Seniors

Exercise Routines for the Elderly

Body Mass Index

Healthy Weight Tools

Stress Management

Arizona Smoker's Helpline

 

**Remember to consult your doctor before starting any new exercise programs**

Diet and Nutrition:
Making only a few sensible changes in your diet can help reduce the risk of heart disease.  Heart-Healthy habits include limiting your salt intake to no more than a teaspoon (6 grams).  Your doctor may suggest you have even less if you have high blood pressure.

Your diet should consist primarily of fruits, vegetables, grain products, lean meats, and fish.  Try to decrease your level of fat (especially saturated fat) and cholesterol (fatty red meats, whole milk, whole milk cheeses, eggs, cream-based dishes, and rich desserts).

Physical Activity:

Exercise--or lack of it--plays a large role in our health.  Regular exercise can lower your blood pressure and blood cholesterol as well as improve heart function.  The best way to condition our hearts is to exercise aerobically (such as brisk walking, joggin, or cycling) for 30 minutes, at least three (3) times a week.  Medical research has shown that short bouts of exercise that add up to 30 minutes a day are just as good for you as a continuous 30 minute workout.

Weight Management:

Being overweight, eating too many calories and fatty foods puts extra stress and strain on your heart, which can make you feel sluggish and lack motivation.  When your weight is in a healthy range your body circulates blood more effectively, fluid levels are more easily managed and you are less likely to develop heart disease and diabetes.

Stress Management:

Heart attacks are more likely to happen during times of stress.  When you are stressed, your blood pressure rises and the heart beats faster, this increases the heart's need for oxygen.  Stress causes your body to produce more hormones and increase blood flow which can damage the arteries.  As the aterial walls begin to heal, they thicken, making them prone to plaque buildup, which narrows the artery.

Quit Smoking:

Atherosclerosis is the buildup of fatty substances in the arteries, which is a chronic disorder that smokers have a higher risk of developing.  Atherosclerosis can lead to coronary heart disease, heart attack and stroke.  Smoking decreases your tolerance for physical activity and increases the tendency for blood to clot.  It can decrease HDL (good) cholesterol as well as create a higher risk for peripheral artery disease and aortic aneurysm.  Your risk increases if you have a family history of heart disease and you run the risk of recurrent coronary heart disease after bypass surgery.