How to Take Care of Your Heart
Tips to Keep Your Heart Healthy
Your heart powers the body. It provides the individual cells with oxygen and nutrients. It’s the little engine that could – until it no longer can. While we can’t fight time, we can help keep our hearts healthy and pumping with a little due diligence.
It’s never too early to start taking care of your heart. The American Heart Association recommends:
Choose a healthy eating plan.
Choose foods low in saturated fat, trans fat, and sodium. As part of a healthy diet, eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, fiber-rich whole grains, fish (preferably oily fish-at least twice per week), nuts, legumes and seeds and try eating some meals without meat. Select lower fat dairy products and poultry (skinless). Limit sugar-sweetened beverages and red meat. If you choose to eat meat, select the leanest cuts available.
Be physically active.
You can slowly work up to at least 2½ hours (150 minutes) of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity (e.g., brisk walking) every week or 1 hour and 15 minutes (75 minutes) of vigorous intensity aerobic physical activity (e.g., jogging, running) or a combination of both every week.
Additionally, on 2 or more days a week you need muscle-strengthening activities that work all major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest shoulders, and arms). Children should get at least 60 minutes of activity every day.
Be on the lookout for warning signs of heart disease.
It’s never too early or too late to learn the warning signs of a heart attack and stroke. Not everyone experiences sudden numbness with a stroke or severe chest pain with a heart attack. And heart attack symptoms in women can be different than men.
Take those wise words from the ADA to heart (pun intended.) The following are 3 heart health tips as a bonus:
- Don’t smoke cigarettes. The chemicals in tobacco smoke harm your blood cells and the function of your blood vessels, increasing your risk of atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is a buildup of fats, cholesterol and other substances in and on your artery walls (plaque), which can restrict blood flow.
- Be mindful of your mental health. Stress and depression can put people at a greater risk of heart disease. Having a healthy social life with family and friends can help you have a healthy heart.
- Eat right. Having a varied diet of healthy, nutritional foods tends to help manage weight, blood pressure and cholesterol.
Be aware of what you put in your body. Be aware of the warning signs your body may be giving. Do your part to keep your heart, and whole body, healthy. If you need to speak with a cardiovascular doctor about any issue, contact us today.