News from the American Heart Association (AHA) reveals that seven factors are responsible for almost all cardiovascular risk. And they’re totally within our control.

Taking charge of what the AHA is calling Life’s Simple Seven can reduce our risk of cardiovascular disease by more than 80%. Moreover, the AHA, says that conscientiously controlling just five of the seven risks factors lowers cardiovascular risk by 80%.

The seven risk factors are:

1. Smoking

Smoking cessation should be the top health goal of any smoker, since the habit is implicated in several diseases in addition to heart disease.

2. Physical activity

Leading a sedentary lifestyle is bad for the entire body, and particularly for the heart. It also is a risk factor for overweight, itself implicated in several conditions. Moderate exercise, even just a 30 minute walk every day, satisfies this criterion.

3. Weight Management

Maintaining a healthy weight prevents strain on the heart.

4. Diet

It’s not just the number of calories that is important, it’s also what’s in them. Focus on healthy foods, and avoid junk foods.

5. Blood glucose

Diabetics aren’t the only ones who should be concerned with controlling their blood sugar; normal blood glucose levels are also important for avoiding cardiovascular disease.

6. Cholesterol

Keep your total cholesterol level under 200 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL). LDL levels should be below 100 mg/dL and HDL levels should be greater than 60 mg/dL.

7. Blood pressure

High blood pressure is the leading cause of cardiovascular disease — and of death — in the United States.

Since cardiovascular disease is the number one cause of death in the United States, the importance of making these lifestyle changes is will impact our health and our lives in a meaningful way.

At Beacon of LIFE, a government-approved PACE program in Oceanport, NJ, we know how to maintain our clients’ cardiac health. program created to provide seniors, their family, caregivers and professional health care providers the flexibility to meet their health care needs while continuing to live in their community.

Beacon of LIFE maintains an interdisciplinary team of professionals who give each client the coordinated care they need. Our staff specialize in working with older people, and work with each client and their family to develop the most effective plan of care.

We provide a variety of services, including primary care, hospital care, medical specialty services, prescription drugs, nursing home care, emergency services, home care, physical therapy, occupational therapy, adult day care, recreational therapy, meals, dentistry, nutritional counseling, social services, laboratory / X-ray services, social work counseling, and transportation.

Our care and services allow people who would otherwise need to live in a nursing home to live where they want — in their own communities, in their own homes.

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