Maintaining Your Cardiovascular Health May Prevent Cognitive Decline

Maintaining Your Cardiovascular Health May Prevent Cognitive Decline

A research study recently published by Journal of the American College of Cardiology found that individuals with a higher risk for developing cardiovascular disease are likely to experience cognitive decline which may, in turn, lead to dementia. This is important because the evidence suggests that monitoring and controlling cardiovascular health may be the key to maintaining cognitive health later in life. In this brief article, a heart doctor in Tampa from Ascent Cardiology Group will review what actions you can take to maintain your heart health and prevent future cognitive decline.
Diet and Lifestyle
A healthy diet and lifestyle are your first line of defense against cardiovascular disease and cognitive decline. The American Heart Association recommends the following steps to reap the long-term benefits of a heart-healthy lifestyle.

• Eat a wide variety of nutrient-rich foods
• Limit saturated fats, sodium, red meat, and sugar-sweetened beverages
• Limit alcohol intake
• Adopt a physically active lifestyle
• Don’t smoke, vape, or use tobacco products

With regard to exercise, you should aim for at least one hundred and fifty minutes of moderate physical activity, seventy minutes of vigorous physical activity, or an equal combination of the two for each week, if possible. Harvard Health Publishing states that, in addition to relieving anxiety and depression, regularly engaging in an exercise program has been shown to improve cognitive function in those with memory problems or who carry the APOE4 gene variant for Alzheimer’s.

Related: The Dangers of High Cholesterol
Blood Pressure Control
High blood pressure is one of the most common risk factors for cardiovascular disease that often goes unnoticed and untreated. Uncontrolled high blood pressure hardens and thickens your arteries and puts additional strain on your blood vessels and organs, such as the brain and kidneys. It rarely has noticeable symptoms but, if left untreated, can significantly increase your risk for a number of life-threatening conditions, including heart attacks, heart failure, strokes, and vascular dementia.

While there is no cure for high blood pressure, there are lifestyle changes you can make to enhance your quality of life and reduce your risk for cardiovascular disease and cognitive decline. First and foremost, you should be regularly monitoring your blood pressure to remain alert to any changes or patterns. Then, through a combination of managing your stress, maintaining a healthy diet, and communicating with your healthcare provider, you can successfully live a heart-healthy life. Related: How High Blood Pressure Affects Your Heart and Body
Stress Management
Let’s be honest — managing the level of stress in your day-to-day life can be stressful. It’s impossible to control whether or not you’ll get stuck in traffic or experience the loss of a loved one; however, it’s important to understand how high levels of stress and your body’s reaction to it can increase your risk for cardiovascular disease and cognitive decline. In stressful situations, your body produces chemicals, such as cortisol and adrenaline, that can interfere with your sleep and appetite over time.

To reduce stress and stimulate your mind, try focusing on patterns of positive thought. Laughter has been found to reduce inflammation in the arteries and lower levels of stress chemicals. Similarly, exercise can lower your blood pressure and produce endorphins. All you need to do is find the right combination of techniques which work for you, whether it be meditating or playing a sport. For additional recommendations on what preventative measures may work best for you, contact a Tampa heart specialist from Ascent Cardiology Group today.
To consult with a Tampa heart specialist from Ascent Cardiology Group, please request an appointment today.
Disclaimer: The contents of this website are for general educational purposes only. All content and media on the Ascent Cardiology Group website does not constitute professional medical advice nor is the information intended to replace the services of Ascent Cardiology Group or other qualified medical professionals. If you believe you are having a medical emergency, call 911 immediately.

The content, views, and opinions communicated on this website do not represent the views of Ascent Cardiology Group. Reliance on any information provided by this website is solely at your own risk. Although this website contains links to other medical websites, this is strictly for informational purposes. Ascent Cardiology Group is not responsible nor do they approve of the content featured on any third party linked websites referenced on this website.
More Resources