February is National Heart Health Month! So to celebrate, we’ve put together some tips to help you live a heart-healthy lifestyle. Here’s what you can do:
1. Get moving!
Being overweight will immediate increase your risk for who are overweight or obese should focus on losing weight by reducing calorie intake and exercising more.
2. Don’t skip the doctor.
It’s very important that you visit your doctor and stay on top of your checkups. Anything can happen between visits. If you spread your checkups out too far apart, you are going to be less likely to catch an issue at an early stage.
3. Reduce the stress in your life.
Stress can affect your health in numerous ways, and your heart health is one of them. It can increase your risk for heart disease, so anything you can do to stay relaxed and limit the amount of stress in your life is for the best. Meditation, exercise, deep breathing and yoga are all great ways to help combat stress.
4. Get into a balanced self-care routine.
Taking prescription medications can help to lower your risk of heart attack and treat conditions like high blood pressure and high cholesterol. But it’s important that you don’t rely on prescription medicine. Just because you’re taking medication, does not mean that you are completely out of the woods for a heart attack.
5. Get plenty of sleep.
Not getting enough sleep at night can have negative effects on your stress levels and put you more at risk for cardiovascular disease.
6. Stop smoking
Tobacco is one of the main causes of heart disease. Need we say more?
7. Watch your diet.
Cooking your own meals is really the only way to know what all is in your food. When you go out to eat, you might think you know, but there can be a lot of extra stuff that you’re consuming, such as salt, sugar, butter, oils, etc. Here are some ways you can adjust your diet to best support heart healthy living:
- Try to get a couple servings of fish per week. There are a ton of omega-3 fatty acids in fish which are very helpful in preventing heart attacks.
- Limited your salt intake. High sodium diets can increase your blood pressure.
- Enjoying a glass of red wine every now and then is actually good for you! Red wine has healthy antioxidants which can help your risk of getting heart disease.
- Incorporate fiber into your diet, especially from grains, plants, and fruits.
- Eliminate processed sugar which can be present in foods like bleached white bread, sodas and even diet sodas.
- Drink as much water as you can, we’re talking 64 ounces as least, every day!
Incorporating these seven tips into your daily life will truly help support a heart-healthy lifestyle. Remember, the choices you make really do have an affect on your health. So when making decisions like these, always try to think about how it might affect your health in the long-run.
Additional Resources on Heart Health:
7 Tips for Improving Your Heart Health