Atrial fibrillation, often called AFib, is the most common form of heart arrhythmia. At present, AFib affects more than 33.5 million people worldwide.
Atrial fibrillation causes irregular beating in the upper chambers of the heart (the atria). This means that blood doesn’t flow as it should to the heart’s lower chambers (the ventricles). Common signs and symptoms of atrial fibrillation include an irregular heartbeat and chest pain. Although, some sufferers show no atrial fibrillation symptoms at all.
Atrial fibrillation risk increases with age, while AFib has a high rate of comorbidity with conditions such as heart disease and high blood pressure. That said, there are ways to reduce your chances of developing AFib with some simple lifestyle changes.
Want to know how to cut your risk of atrial fibrillation? Read on to find out.
- Follow a Heart-Healthy Diet
Making sure to eat a range of nutritious whole foods is one of the best ways to protect your heart and cut your risk of developing AFib, as well as many other chronic conditions.
A heart healthy diet includes plenty of whole grains, legumes, fruits, and vegetables as well as good fats from foods like nuts, seeds, and oily fish. You should also take steps to reduce your intake of saturated fat, LDL cholesterol, and trans fats by avoiding processed foods and fried foods.
If you’re at risk of developing AFib, ask your doctor what to know about the link between your diet and heart health, and what to avoid. For example, despite claims that regular moderate alcohol consumption is good for your heart, drinking alcohol every day can increase your chances of receiving an atrial fibrillation diagnosis.
- Get Active
Alongside a healthy diet, engaging in regular physical activity can help strengthen your heart and reduce your chances of developing AFib.
Depending on your age and current activity levels, you might want to take it slowly at first after getting clearance from your doctor. But once you’re on the right track, getting physical for at least 30 minutes a day will do wonders for your heart health. What’s more, physical activity is a great way to reduce stress and boost your mood.
- Quit Smoking
Smoking increases your chances of developing lung cancer, asthma, emphysema, chronic bronchitis, and is bad for your heart health in a variety of ways. It shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise, then, to learn that researchers have linked smoking to an increased risk of atrial fibrillation. As such, quitting smoking is one of the best ways to cut your chances of developing AFib as well as many other related conditions.
How to Lower Your Atrial Fibrillation Risk
Whether your chances of developing AFib are high or not, following these tips can help lower your atrial fibrillation risk.
What’s more, by eating a nutritious diet, becoming more active, and quitting smoking, you’ll also see improvements in your overall health too, as well as more energy, less stress, and a brighter outlook!
For more health news and tips, be sure to check out our other blog posts.