Are You Doing These 5 Things To Prevent Heart Disease?
What is heart disease?
Heart disease is a term (often used interchangeably with cardiovascular disease) used to describe a variety of heart conditions. Some of the most common include heart attack, stroke, abnormal heart beats (heart arrhythmias), and heart defects (congenital heart defects). Heart disease takes many different forms, but most are connected to plaque that builds up in the walls of the heart’s arteries causing the arteries to narrow. This makes it harder for blood to flow through arteries and can result in a heart attack or stroke.
What are the signs?
Signs of heart disease depend on which type of heart disease you may have but chest pain, chest tightness, shortness of breath, extreme fatigue, and pain, numbness, weakness or coldness in your legs and arms are common symptoms associated with heart disease.
What can you do to prevent it?
Small changes to your lifestyle can make a big difference in your overall health and help reduce your risk of heart disease:
1. Stay active
Physical activity can help reduce your risk for conditions that can contribute to heart disease such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Thirty minutes a day of physical activity can make a big difference. Make sure to match your activity to your needs and abilities, and talk to your doctor before starting an activity program.
Tufts Health Plan Medicare Preferred members get up to $250 to join a gym or take a fitness class
(such as yoga, Pilates, tai chi, or aerobics), plus many more options!
2. Eat healthy
Eating a healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can help reduce your risk of heart disease. The DASH eating plan is designed to help lower your blood pressure. Tufts Health Plan Medicare Preferred members can use their Preferred Extras to save 50% off the subscription rate for DASH for Health, an online program dedicated to helping you eat better by using the DASH Diet!
3. Maintain a healthy weight
Being overweight can cause conditions that increase your risk of heart disease including high blood pressure and high choleseterol. Tufts Health Plan Medicare Preferred members can get up to $150 for weight management programs such as Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig!
4. Manage stress
Finding alternative ways to handle stress such as exercise, relaxation exercises, or meditation can improve your health. Tufts Health Plan Medicare Preferred members can use their Preferred Extras to save on an 8-week mindfulness and stress reduction program to learn how to develop a plan for dealing with short- and long-term stressful situations!
5. Know your numbers
When it comes to heart health, it’s important to know your numbers. High blood pressure can damage your heart and increase your risk for heart disease and stroke. At an annual physical your doctor will review your health status and offer suggestions on how to maintain or improve it. Tufts Health Plan Medicare Preferred members pay $0 for a physical exam each calendar year.
This information is not a complete description of benefits. Call 1-800-701-9000 (TTY: 711) for more information. Discounts and services included in the Preferred Extras program are not plan benefits and are not subject to the Medicare appeals process.
How Our Plans Can Help
Annual Wellness Exam
Tufts Health Plan Medicare Preferred plans cover an Annual Wellness Exam each plan year. This is a more comprehensive doctor’s office visit designed to develop or update a personalized plan to prevent disease or disability based on your current health risk factors.
Tufts Health Plan Medicare Preferred plans provide coverage for an annual visit with your primary care physician to help lower your risk for cardiovascular disease. During this visit, your doctor may discuss aspirin use (if appropriate), check your blood pressure, and offer tips for a healthier diet.