Preventing Heart Disease Begins With Healthy Lifestyle Choices 
Cypress Fairbanks Medical Center Hospital 
Tuesday, 23 September 2008 
Free Preventative Cardiac Screening Offered By Cypress Fairbanks Medical Center Hospital

The choices you make today will impact your life tomorrow. This may sound like advice parents give their children, but it is especially true when it comes to taking care of your heart. While some risk factors for developing heart disease are beyond our control, such as age, race or family history, certain lifestyle choices we make in our 20s, 30s and 40s will definitely impact the quality of life in our 50s, 60s and 70s.  

Heart disease does not develop overnight. It is a gradual, lifelong process that people cannot see or feel. Physical inactivity, smoking, obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes have all shown to influence the development and severity of heart disease. Fortunately, you can take steps now to prevent heart disease and enjoy a healthier life in the years to come. Cypress Fairbanks Medical Center Hospital recommends the following:  

Put out that cigarette. People who smoke run twice the risk of having a heart attack as a non-smoker. There are more than 4,800 chemicals in tobacco smoke, including tar and nicotine. This toxic mixture can raise blood pressure, increase the tendency for blood to clot, harden the arteries and restrict blood flow to the heart.  

Start moving. Exercising 30 to 60 minutes most days of the week has shown to improve heart function, lower blood pressure and cholesterol, boost energy and help maintain a healthy weight. According to the American Heart Association, every hour spent exercising now can add about two hours to your life expectancy.  

Eat a nutritious, healthy diet. A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy products should be the routine. Try to limit your intake of saturated fats (beef, butter, cheese or milk) and trans fats (deep fried foods, margarine or crackers), which can raise blood cholesterol levels. Adding fish, a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, to your diet can help decrease the risk of heart attack, lower blood pressure and guard against irregular heartbeats.  

Maintain a healthy weight. Your heart has to work harder if you are overweight. You also have an increased risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes. Exercise and good nutrition are the only ways to maintain a healthy weight, not fad diets or supplements.  

Other steps you can take to prevent heart disease include limiting alcohol, being screened for high blood pressure and high cholesterol, reducing stress and managing diabetes, if you have the condition. Heart disease may be the leading cause of death in the United States, but by adopting a healthy lifestyle today you may avoid heart problems in the future.  

Start protecting yourself from heart disease by participating in a free preventive cardiac screening at Cypress Fairbanks Medical Center Hospital. The screening will include total cholesterol, blood pressure, body mass index, weight, risk factor analysis, and health information. The screening is scheduled for Saturday, October 11th from 8 to 11 a.m. in the Professional Building Classroom at 11302 Fallbrook Drive. Space is limited and reservations are required. Call 800-681-2733 to reserve your appointment today.  

For more information about the Cypress Fairbanks Medical Center Hospital, visit