4 Tips to Prevent Coronary Artery Disease

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iStock_000014825675SmaCoronary artery disease (CAD) is caused by blockages in the coronary arteries that pump blood to the heart. When your heart can’t get the blood supply it needs to properly function, it could result in chest pain, shortness of breath and heart attacks. But there are some lifestyle choices you can make to help lower your risk of developing CAD.

1. Know Your Risk Factors

Understanding the various risk factors that can contribute to coronary artery disease can be a good first step to take toward prevention. High blood pressure and high cholesterol are two of the most significant risk factors for CAD, so adopting a heart-healthy diet and monitoring your cholesterol levels and blood pressure can be helpful preventative measures for CAD.

2. Stop Smoking

Smoking is another common risk factor for heart disease, as nicotine restricts blood vessels, which cause your heart to work harder than usual to circulate blood throughout your body. If you smoke, kicking the habit can be one of the most effective ways to boost your heart health and reduce your risk for CAD.

3. Get Regular Exercise

Regular exercise comes with a wide range of health benefits, including the ability to reduce high blood pressure and cholesterol, control diabetes and maintain a healthy weight. All of these things can be major risk factors for CAD, so getting adequate daily exercise can be one great way to help address a number of health concerns.

4. Manage Stress

While some minor daily stress may be unavoidable, those at a high risk for coronary artery disease should try to reduce their stress levels as much as possible. Practicing deep breathing techniques or even spending some time in nature can have a calming, soothing effect on the mind and body.