A healthy lifestyle is key to a healthy heart

Author: Lindsey Ulrich

"Adopting some healthy habits makes a big difference in feeling better for a longer, higher quality life."



What is the most effective way to save more lives from heart-related deaths? According to cardiologist David McComb, DO, the greatest intervention is changes everyone can adopt in their daily lives for prevention.

“There have been significant advances in cardiac treatment that have extended and improved the lives of my patients, but adopting some healthy habits makes a big difference in feeling better for a longer, higher quality life,” said Dr. McComb.

Dr. McComb is quick to admit that he would rather write a prescription for an exercise regimen than any medication. “I write an exercise goal on a prescription pad and give it to my patients when they first see me. I want them to think of it as much of a treatment as a cardiac drug or surgical procedure.” 

The majority of patients are in their 50s or 60s or older when they begin seeing a cardiologist, but Dr. McComb also diagnoses those in their 20s and 30s with hypertension and even coronary artery disease.  Regardless of age, he says it is good for everyone to know their numbers.

“During your next checkup, ask for your heart rate and blood pressure. Have your cholesterol tested and keep your information saved to compare changes over time,” said Dr. McComb.

If all of this can seem like a lot of change, Dr. McComb suggests picking one to area to focus on. Follow your weight over time. Often one change can have benefits in other areas. For example, exercising more reduces stress and should help with a better night’s sleep.

“If you are considering making a big change to your current lifestyle, make sure to talk to your cardiologist or primary care provider,” said Dr. McComb. “They’ll review your current level of fitness and evaluate what level of activity is safe for you. It’s never too late to get started and improve in small increments at a time.”

David McComb, DO, is a board-certified cardiologist at McLaren Greater Lansing Cardiovascular Associates in Lansing, Okemos and Eaton Rapids. If you are interested in scheduling an appointment with Dr. McComb, call (877) 296-0111.