Follow the Signs and Get on the Road to a Healthier Heart

Julie Master, D.O.
Edmund Karam, M.D.
Renato Apolito, M.D.,

Heart disease is the number one threat to a woman’s life. While the risk tends to increase as women get older, the American Heart Association (AHA) recently made an even greater push emphasizing preventative heart health for women of all ages, updating its prevention guidelines designed to steer women of all ages toward a lifetime of heart health.

So follow the signs to get on the road to a healthier, happier heart!



Move it and lose it.

“Engaging in about 40 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity three or four times a week can improve your health and help lower your cholesterol,” says Julie Master, D.O., of Riverview Medical Center and Bayshore Community Hospital.

If you want to lose extra pounds or stay at a healthy weight once you reach it, you may need to be active 40 minutes or more every day — in addition to cutting calories. Walk around your neighborhood, use the stairs, ride a bike — it all adds up to lower heart risks.


Quit smoking.

Ask your doctor about nicotine replacement, counseling, and medication to help you get out of Nicotine Alley. Over time, you will gradually have the same risk for heart disease as a nonsmoker.

“Going smoke-free not only helps prevent heart disease and stroke but also helps prevent different cancers and lung diseases,” says Edmund Karam, M.D., at Southern Ocean Medical Center. “The payoff from this is almost immediate.”


Slow down on fats, salt, and alcohol.

“You can lower your cholesterol by cutting saturated fat to 5 percent or 6 percent of your daily calories and trans fats to as low as possible,” says Renato Apolito, M.D., of Ocean Medical Center. “Limit sodium to about one teaspoon and alcohol to one drink per day for females and one to two drinks per day for males.”

Read the complete article in the January/February 2016 edition of Meridian HealthViews.