Thursday, February 18, 2016

4 simple tips for taking care of your heart

Heart care probably doesn’t make your regular to-do list. If it did, you would see improvement in many areas of your health. Making a healthy diet and regular exercise part of your to-do list is the best way to reduce your risk of heart disease and improve your overall health. Wondering how to get started? We have four simple ways to take care of your heart health.

A husband and wife focused on a healthy lifestyle.

4 simple changes to improve your heart health

1. Get moving

The 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 eat

An 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
  • Salt
  • Added sugars
  • Red meat
You might also like this article: How to follow a heart healthy diet.

An extended family enjoys time together.

3. Reduce stress

Stress 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
  • Meditation

4. Schedule an annual check-up

Your 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.

You might also like this article: Go Red for Women’s: Life’s Simple 7 

Care Coordination Services at Logansport Memorial

You and your primary care physician are part of a team at LMH. If working with a cardiologist is what you’ll need to help maintain your heart health, care coordination can help make sure all of your questions are answered from each doctor that you see, both old and new. Call to talk with one of our care coordinators if you need help navigating your health care: (574) 753-1317.

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