Composed of your heart and blood vessels, your cardiovascular system is the powerhouse of your body. Its main role is to deliver oxygen- and nutrient-rich blood to all of your organs and tissues in order to keep them functioning properly. The system also helps dispose of waste products from your organs and tissues to prevent buildup.
As a top-ratedcardiologist, Dr. Jeffrey H. Graf is an expert in heart health and cardiovascular disease prevention. As a member of his concierge practice located onthe Upper East Side of Manhattan, New York, you can expect to recieve ample time and attentionfor monitoring your cardiovascular health and you will work closely with Dr. Graf to reviev personalized medical advice from a world-class cardiology expert.
Could you be doing more to improve or maintain your heart health?In this blog, Dr. Graf guides you through his top seven recommendations for monitoring and maintaining a functional cardiovascular system:
1. Get a physical
A physical exam reviews all parts of your health, including your cardiovascular health. When you visit Dr. Graf annually for your physical, he can monitor changes in your health and identify subtle signs of complications you may have missed yourself.
During every physical, Dr. Graf interprets your results and offers personalized guidance to maintain your cardiovascular health going forward. Dr. Graf dedicates ample time to his concierge medicine Members, so each patient has the time needed to ask questions, address concerns, and properly understand their care plan..
2. Quit smoking
If you smoke, this is your sign to quit. Yes, smoking cessation is challenging, but your heart will thank you for putting forth the effort. Consider helpful strategies like using nicotine patches or gum, and explore healthy stress management alternatives such as meditation deep breathing, and exercise.
3. Be active
Speaking of exercise, it’s great for your heart. Regular moderate to intense physical activity strengthens your heart muscle to keep your entire cardiovascular system functioning well. Physical activity has a number of specific benefits for your cardiovascular health, including:
- Raising your “good” cholesterol levels
- Lowering your blood pressure
- Reducing your heart attack risk
- Lowering triglycerides
- Managing your weight to reduce your heart’s workload
Exercise is also an excellent stress management technique that may help you cut down on smoking, drinking, and stress-eating. Aim for about 2.5 hours a week, even if you need to start slowly based on your current level of fitness.
4. Reduce your alcohol intake
Some people use alcoholic beverages to manage stress — but that isn’t so good for cardiovascular health. Please realize that no amount of alcohol is safe and significant alcohol consumption is, among other risks, potentially harmful to your heart.
5. Balance your diet
Dr. Graf can help you analyze your current eating habits so you can be more mindful of the foods you consume in relation to your cardiovascular health. Here are a few easy tips to get you started:
- Control your portion size
- Include lots of colorful fruits and vegetables
- Limit unhealthy fats like butter and shortening
- Choose lean proteins (e.g., fish and poultry)
- Limit your sodium intake
- Eat whole grains for fiber
You can enjoy the occasional indulgence, but try to balance the majority of your meals and limit snacking. A balanced, low-calorie diet can also help you manage your weight to reduce your cardiovascular health risks.
6. Check your blood pressure regularly
Your health care team always takes a blood pressure reading during your physical exams and all of your doctor’s visits. If you’re at high risk for high blood pressure, monitoring your blood pressure more often is important.
High blood pressure, and many dangerous blood pressure spikes, occur without symptoms. If you’re between doctor’s visits, you can check your blood pressure at your local pharmacy or get a blood pressure cuff for home use for routine monitoring.
7. Take prescriptions as directed
If you receive any prescription medications to manage high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, or other chronic conditions, taking them as Dr. Graf directs can lower your risk of a life-threatening cardiac event such as a heart attack. Be sure to ask questions for clarity, and never stop taking medication without Dr. Graf’s explicit approval.
Dr. Graf’s expertise and guidance are valuable resourcesyou can utilize for your cardiovascular and heart health. Contact the office online or with a phone call to secure your next appointment today.