According to, your risk of developing a cardiovascular disease may depend on your family's medical history. In fact, it may even override healthy habits.

Donna Arnett, president of the American Heart Association (AHA), explains, “If you look at how heart disease occurs, about 80 percent takes place in people with a strong family history.”

Since people whose families have histories of heart diseases are more prone to them, it’s important to maintain a healthy lifestyle in order to lower the chances of triggering them or of developing other complications.

The AHA recommends doing “Life’s Simple 7” or seven ways to best avoid heart disease:

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  1. Be active--quit your sedentary lifestyle and pick up sport or give the gym a go.
  2. Control your cholesterol--cholesterol is one of the main factors that increase the risk of cardiovascular problems. This can be achieved by exercising regularly.
  3. Eat better--get your fill of naturally healthy foods such as fruit, vegetables, and lean meat. Do your best to avoid crusty foods; instead, go for those that are baked, grilled, or steamed.
  4. Manage your blood pressure--avoid unnecessary stress by giving yourself enough time to rest and relax, as well by having a full sleep cycle daily. If you can, have your blood pressure checked regularly at your preferred clinic.
  5. Lose weight--being overweight is closely tied to heart disease, since it means that you have an overload of cholesterol and triglycerides, which indicate that you have a lot of fat in your bloodstream. Doing numbers one to three will help you get rid of those pounds.
  6. Reduce your blood sugar--maintaining healthy sugar levels can help you avoid diabetes which is also connected to heart disease. You can do so by reducing your canned soda and juice intake and opting for tea and coffee instead. Eating healthy food such as beans, walnuts and broccoli, as well as getting regular exercise also helps a lot.
  7. Quit smoking--smoking boosts heart disease risk, as according to, it decreases the supply of oxygen to the heart, increases blood pressure, heart rate, and blood clotting, and damages cells that line the arteries. Quitting lessens these risk factors many times over, so if you’re smoking and you’re family has a history of heart disease, it’s best that you kick the habit immediately.

Being more prone to heart disease doesn’t mean that you can’t do anything about it. Prevention is the best medication, so do yourself a great favor, and start living a healthy lifestyle.

(Photo by lifelikeapps via Flickr Creative Commons)

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