The #1 thing you can do to keep your heart and vascular system healthy and to prevent complications is to refrain from tobacco use. Yes, quitting smoking is that important.
Smoking is the leading preventable cause of illness and death in the United States and is known to affect all systems of your body. Smoking is also the primary cause of cardiovascular diseases, such as heart disease, stroke and peripheral artery disease (PAD).
All forms of tobacco, including cigarettes, contain nicotine, which is a highly addictive drug that constricts blood vessels and thus increases blood pressure and heart rate. This can lead to atherosclerosis, a thickening and hardening of the arteries caused by cholesterol and lipid deposits, which puts your heart and circulatory system at great risk. At least 63 cancer-causing chemicals have been found in tobacco as well, further harming your body.
What to avoid
Tobacco products include:
Avoiding secondhand smoke and vaping is important, as well.