February is American Heart Month. It reminds all Americans that promotion of heart health is the most critical prevention tool we have available today in cardiovascular medicine, according to Valentin Fuster, MD, PhD of of Mount Sinai Heart, a global leader in the field of cardiology for more than three decades.
Dr. Fuster serves as director of Mount Sinai Heart and Physician-in-Chief of The Mount Sinai Hospital. He is the next Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC), past president of the American Heart Association and the World Heart Federation.
The world-renowned cardiologist shares his heart disease prevention expertise
To help prevent heart disease, the number-one killer of people around the globe, Dr. Fuster is urging all adults to do just three things daily to prevent cardiovascular disease. In addition, Dr. Fuster has three top recommendations for parents on how to protect their child’s heart from heart disease and its biggest culprit — obesity.
For adults the “Top 3 Tips for Preventing Heart Disease” include:
1. Exercise Daily
Men and women need to stay active daily. Physical activity and aerobic exercise for at least 30 minutes a day needs to part of your every day routine. This may include exercising at the gym, brisk walking, bicycling, or swimming. Find an exercise activity that you love and do it daily.
2. Eat Healthy
Making healthy nutritional choices daily is vital for your health. A diet rich in colorful fruits and vegetables, and water, should be part of a daily heart healthy diet. Everyone should avoid food with excessive fat, sugar, and salt. Also, limit soft drinks and fast food consumption.
3. Avoid Tobacco Smoke
Smoking tobacco leads to heart disease. Cigarette smoke narrows and damages the arteries of the body. It is important that you do not smoke or stop smoking. Also, everyone needs to reduce their exposure to second-hand smoke which research shows is associated with coronary artery calcification, a build-up of calcium in the heart’s arteries which indicates heart disease.
For parents of children the “Top 3 Tips for Preventing Heart Disease” include:
1. Start Early
Parents need to start heart disease prevention early for their children, especially for the prevention of the serious risk factor of obesity, when your child is 3-5 years old. Ensure the child has heart healthy eating habits and exercise is part of child’s daily routine.
2. Provide Good Nutrition
Parents need to introduce daily healthy food and snack options to their children early including colorful fruits, vegetables, and water. Avoid giving children access to food with excessive fat, sugar, and salt. Also, limit soft drinks and fast food consumption. Eating and preparing dinner together with your children can instill and ensure good eating habits for the entire family.
3. Reduce Sedentary Lifestyle
Make sure to play with your child to encourage their physical activity. Encourage daily aerobic activities such as walking, bicycling, skating, and swimming. Also, limit the child’s television watching and playing on the computer.
About the Mount Sinai Health System
The Mount Sinai Health System is an integrated health system committed to providing distinguished care, conducting transformative research, and advancing biomedical education. Structured around seven member hospital campuses and a single medical school, the Health System has an extensive ambulatory network and a range of inpatient and outpatient services—from community-based facilities to tertiary and quaternary care.
The System includes approximately 6,600 primary and specialty care physicians, 12-minority-owned free-standing ambulatory surgery centers, over 45 ambulatory practices throughout the five boroughs of New York City, Westchester, and Long Island, as well as 31 affiliated community health centers. Physicians are affiliated with the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, which is ranked among the top 20 medical schools both in National Institutes of Health funding and by U.S. News & World Report. For more information, visit www.mountsinai.org/.
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