What’s the best way to prevent heart disease? Did you know that lifestyle changes can prevent as much as 80% of cardiovascular deaths? According to the CDC, heart disease refers to several types of heart conditions. You can greatly reduce your risk for heart disease through lifestyle changes.

Dr. Dawn Hui, cardiac surgeon at UT Health San Antonio, discusses heart disease and what lifestyle habits can help prevent it:

Why It’s Important to Prevent Heart Disease

• Heart disease is that it is the leading cause of death in the United States, and that’s true for both men and women.

• People who are more prone to have heart disease are those who have diabetes, high blood pressure, use tobacco, or who have a strong family history of heart disease.

• But heart disease can affect people that don’t have any of those risk factors.

The Pandemic Made Things Worse

Heart disease has been a problem for San Antonio and the United States historically, and the pandemic didn’t help, Dr. Hui said.

• What we’ve seen in the last two years is that pandemic-related changes in lifestyle have caused many of us to become more sedentary.

• Activities like meetings, classes, interviews like this that used to be in-person are now online, so people are sitting still for much longer and being less active.

• Because of social distancing, our hobbies have shifted from more active social events to sedentary activities like watching television or having virtual get-togethers.

• We know that 80% of cardiovascular deaths are preventable with changes in lifestyle, and physical activity is one of the most powerful ways that we can do that,” Dr. Hui said.

Lifestyle Changes Can Prevent Heart Disease

There are ways to help prevent heart disease though, Dr. Hui said.

• Not only is physical activity important for heart health, it has really strong positive effects for mental health, which is so important during this pandemic.

• We recommend at least 30 minutes of moderate activity daily, and getting physical doesn’t require a gym.

• There are many creative ways to use your environment, such as using the stairs in your building, walking in your neighborhood.

• Playing tag with your kids or grandkids or dancing are great ways to model a healthy lifestyle.

Click here to read more on how to prevent heart disease.