It’s a sobering fact—heart disease is the leading cause of death among both American women and men. It causes one in four deaths, adding up to almost 700,000 each year.

While there are some risk factors for heart disease that you cannot control, there are many risk factors that you can. Our team at AFC Urgent Care Ooltewah wants to talk you through two keys way you can benefit your heart health—quitting smoking and exercising regularly.

Why Is It Important to Quit Smoking for Your Heart Health?

Smoking is the single most preventable cause of death. It negatively impacts nearly every aspect of your health—and your heart is no exception.

Smoking raises your blood pressure, can make your heart beat erratically, weakens arteries and can increase your heart rate. All of these factors increase your risk of heart disease and other conditions such as heart attack and stroke.

Ways to Help You Quit

  • Find your reason to quit.
  • Create a plan to quit smoking.
  • Think about using nicotine replacement therapy.
  • Ask your loved ones for their support.
  • Avoid alcohol and other triggers that might want you to smoke.
  • Give yourself some grace.

How Does Exercise Help Your Heart?

Well, it’s pretty simple. Exercise works out your heart! When you are physically active, you strengthen the muscles in your body, your heart included.

There’s no one specific type of exercise that benefits your heart. The best exercise for you is the one you will do regularly! So find activities that you love that also get your heart pumping.

Good Aerobic Exercises

  • Cardio machines
  • Spinning
  • Running
  • Swimming
  • Walking
  • Hiking
  • Aerobics classes
  • Dancing
  • Cross country skiing
  • Kickboxing

A checkup is a great first step toward better heart health. Stop by AFC Urgent Care Ooltewah today—no appointment is needed.