Have a Heart Healthy Holiday

With the holiday season comes the desire to spend time with loved ones and indulge in parties and feasts as we celebrate the end of another year and a fresh start.  However, if you are one of the many Americans dealing with heart disease, taking the time to stop and consider your heart health before jumping into holiday treats and eggnog with both hands can benefit not only your well-being, but you chances of qualifying for an affordable life insurance premium.

While having a history of heart disease can contribute to higher term life insurance premiums, there are steps you can take to reduce risk factors associated with heart disease and possibly reduce your premium. Two of the biggest indicators of heart health are blood pressure and cholesterol levels.  Direction from a physician in combination with a healthy lifestyle can help you maintain normal blood pressure and cholesterol levels to qualify for a lower premium.

What are considered healthy levels?  Blood pressure should be below 140 over 90 to avoid any classification of hypertension (high blood pressure).  Healthy cholesterol levels are a total cholesterol level below 200 with your low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol below 100 (National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute).

Diet, exercise, and lifestyle habits contribute a great deal to your blood pressure and cholesterol, and all three factors are within your control.  You should avoid foods high in sodium, as well as saturated fats and hydrogenated oils, and try to incorporate more fruits and vegetables high in potassium and calcium, so ask to pass the vegetable dish while at the table.  It is also very important to maintain proper hydration in combination with a healthy diet.  The current recommendation for exercise is a half hour to an hour of cardiorespiratory exercise, five days a week.  However, any amount of physical activity provides benefits, so during half-time of the big game, get everyone out and throw the pigskin around for a while.  Habits such as smoking, can increase your BP/cholesterol and are considered risk factors that can raise your premium.  As you gather with loved ones, seek out support to keep you accountable in making healthy decisions regarding unhealthy habits.

Your age and gender also play a major role in determining acceptable blood pressure and cholesterol.  These two deciding factors provide a more specific range of healthy levels.  In general, most life insurance companies might require lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels if you are younger.

If you are dealing with a heart condition and are looking for term life insurance, it is best to talk to a SelectQuote agent directly with as much information as possible regarding your condition.  Your doctor should be able to provide you with a detailed history of your heart condition, and the steps you are taking to improve it.  If you are doing all you can within your doctor’s recommendations and living a healthy lifestyle, you are more likely to qualify for an affordable term life insurance plan.

Like any major purchase, you should compare your options when purchasing life insurance. Different policies will have different pros and cons, and will be influenced by different risk factors. By using an independent term life insurance agency, like SelectQuote, you can compare different life insurance companies and policies to find the best policy to fit your budget and lifestyle.

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