Strategies for Heart Disease Prevention

As medical director of a private practice in Oklahoma City, OK, William D. Jones, MD, specializes in preventive and occupational medicine. William D. Jones, MD, has operated his OK practice since 1996, following completion of his residency with the University of Oklahoma’s Department of Family and Preventive Medicine.

Heart disease prevention requires a person to make healthy living choices no matter his or her age, and it begins with the avoidance of smoking. Tobacco damages the blood vessels as well as the chambers of the heart, while the carbon monoxide in smoke reduces blood oxygen concentrations and makes the heart work harder. A lifelong personal ban on smoking is best, but even quitting reduces one’s risk to baseline in approximately five years.

Heart health also requires a healthy diet with plenty of fresh produce and whole grains. Low-fat proteins play a key role in keeping the cardiovascular system healthy, and lean fats are important elements in reducing bad cholesterol. Regular exercise is important as well. Experts recommend a minimum of 150 minutes of moderately intense activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity for adults each week. Children, by contrast, need 60 or more minutes of exercise per day.

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