Heart disease is a major health problem in the United States, but there are many different ways that you can reduce your risk of developing the condition. Let’s take a look at some of the ways that can keep your ticker in tip-top shape, and avoid the chances of getting heart disease. Lose some weight If you are carrying a few extra pounds – or more – then your risk of developing heart disease is increased. But, by losing that weight, you will reduce the risk. It can have a beneficial effect on the many conditions that can lead to heart disease, such as diabetes and high blood pressure. Eat better food First of all, make sure you are enjoying the benefits of a healthy diet. Eat fresh fruit and vegetables and up your fiber intake. However, it’s the food that you should avoid that is perhaps the most important thing to consider. Cut down on salt, fatty foods, and sugar – especially refined sugars. Get regular medical checks Regular medical checkups are the best way of ensuring you won’t develop heart disease. This is especially true if you suffer from an underlying condition that could develop into heart disease. High cholesterol and atrial fibrillation are two typical antagonists. Watch your cholesterol levels There is good cholesterol and bad cholesterol. You need to keep up your levels of the good stuff while cutting back on the foods that lead to a rise in bad cholesterol. High cholesterol also runs in families, so if you have relatives that suffer from the condition it is important to have regular checks. Lower your blood pressure High blood pressure can be caused by many factors – some of them unavoidable. However, most high blood pressure can be lowered by eating the right food and doing more exercise. You will need to have your blood pressure checked by a medical professional, and if there are problems outside of your control, you may have to take prescribed medicine. Keep fit Fitness is essential for warding off the threat of heart disease. The more exercise you do, the better, and you should aim to raise your heart rate for at least twenty minutes every day. However, if you do more intensive exercise, three times a week should suffice. Exercise is also a great way of reducing stress – which is another cause of heart disease. Watch out for diabetes If you aren’t leading a healthy lifestyle and consume too much sugar, you run the risk of developing diabetes. And, when you have diabetes, your heart will be overworked, and you could develop heart disease. As you can see, many of these issues are interlinked. One thing can quickly lead to another, and the answer to each of the problems is to have regular check-ups, take lots of exercise, and eat better food. Do that and you will reduce your chances of getting heart disease.