4 simple changes to improve your heart health
1. Get movingThe American Heart Association recommends you engage in physical activity thirty minutes a day, five times a week.
Remember, exercise is anything that gets you moving. Walking, swimming, biking, hiking, dancing, playing sports. If it’s an activity that gets you up and moving, it’s going to benefit your heart health. If you aren’t currently exercising regularly, talk to your doctor before starting an exercise program.
2. Watch what you eatAn important part of a healthy lifestyle is a balanced diet. If you don’t need to lose weight, try to balance the number of calories you eat with the number of calories you burn during exercise. Need to lose weight? You need to burn more calories than you take in.
Add these to your diet
- A variety of vegetables and fruits
- Whole grains
- Lean meats like poultry and fish without skin
Take these away from your diet
- Partially hydrogenated vegetable oil
- Saturated fat and trans fat
- Added sugars
- Red meat
3. Reduce stressStress makes people feel anxious and tense. It can cause you to lose sleep, gain weight and be more susceptible to common illness. Stress also affects your heart health. Studies have shown that when you’re stressed your heart rate and blood pressure go up temporarily. If you’re constantly under stress, your artery walls can become damaged over time. If your heart isn’t healthy, stress can cause serious damage.
Try to add some of these stress-reducing activities to your regular habits, your heart will thank you:
- Deep breathing exercises
- Walking or other physical activity
- Yoga or tai chi
4. Schedule an annual check-upYour primary care physician is your first weapon in the fight against heart disease. Regular check-ups help your physician set a baseline for your health and notice any irregularities. Here at Logansport Memorial we practice Care Coordination so that your primary care physician works as a team with other specialists you might need - such as a cardiologist.
Find a primary care doctor.
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