walking and cardiovascular disease

Walking is an easy way to reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease. The American Heart Association recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise each week. Thirty minutes a day, five times a week is an easy goal to remember. However, you will also experience benefits even if you divide your time into two or three segments of 10-15 minutes per day. Walking has the lowest dropout rate among other choices for physical activity, and it’s free.


Warfarin is medication used to prevent blood clots from forming or growing larger in blood and blood vessels. Warfarin is in a class of medications called anticoagulants (*blood thinners) that works by decreasing the clotting ability of the blood. It is prescribed for people with certain types of irregular heartbeat, prosthetic heart valves, and for those who have had a heart attack. Warfarin is also used to treat or prevent venous thrombosis ( blood clot in a vein) and pulmonary embolism (a blood clot in the lung).

(* Some medications are commonly called blood thinners because they can help reduce a blood clot from forming. There are three main types of blood thinners that patients commonly take: anticoagulants like warfarin or heparin, antiplatelet drugs like aspirin, and fibrinolytics like tPA (tissue plasminogen activator). Each type of medication has a specific function to prevent a blood clot from forming or causing a blocked blood vessel, heart attack, or stroke.)

warning signs

Call 9-1-1 if you think you or someone else is having a heart attack or stroke.

Signs of a heart attack include discomfort in the chest (pressure, squeezing, fullness), discomfort in other upper-body areas (arms, back, neck, jaw or stomach), shortness of breath, a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness. Women are more likely to have shortness of breath, nausea and back or jaw pain.

Signs of a stroke include sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body; confusion, trouble speaking or understanding; trouble seeing in one or both eyes; trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination and/or severe headache with no known cause.

water pill

A water pill, also called a diuretic, is a drug that increases the rate at which urine forms by promoting the excretion of water and salts. This helps to relieve the heart's workload and decreases the buildup of fluid in the lungs and other parts of the body. Different diuretics remove fluid at varied rates and through different methods. They can be used to treat high blood pressure, congestive heart failure and some congenital heart defects.

weight loss

Weight loss is the result of burning more calories than you eat. Weight loss can be achieved through wise food choices and increased physical activity. The American Heart Association recommends maintaining a healthy body weight to help decrease your risk for heart disease and stroke. 

whole grains

Any food made from wheat, rice, oats, corn or another cereal is a grain product. Bread, pasta, oatmeal and grits are all grain products. Whole grains contain the entire grain – the bran, germ and endosperm. Whole grains are generally good sources of dietary fiber. Examples include whole-wheat flour, oatmeal, whole cornmeal, brown rice and bulgur. Dietary fiber from whole grains, as part of an overall healthy diet, helps reduce blood cholesterol levels and may lower risk of heart disease. Fiber-containing foods such as whole grains help provide a feeling of fullness with fewer calories and so may help with weight management.

wine and cardiovascular diseases

Moderate wine consumption has been associated with a reduced risk of death from cardiovascular diseases in some people, according to scientific studies. How wine affects cardiovascular risk merits further research, but the American Heart Association does not recommend drinking wine for these potential benefits. To reduce your risk, talk with your doctor about lowering your cholesterol and blood pressure, controlling your weight, getting regular physical activity and following a healthy dietary pattern that is right for your level of activity. The American Heart Association recommends no more than two drinks per day for men and no more than one drink per day for non-pregnant women.

women and heart disease

Heart disease is the No. 1 cause of death in American women. Cardiovascular disease kills more women than all forms of cancer. Heart disease is largely preventable through healthy lifestyle choices  such as a diet that includes fruit and vegetables, lean meats and fish while limiting added sugars and sodium; regular physical activity; and not smoking .

Return to Encyclopedia Home Image