Your heart works hard for you; it’s time to make caring for your heart a priority. Wondering how to stay heart healthy? You might already know that a healthy lifestyle, including exercise and a good diet, can keep your heart healthy, but there are other steps you can take as well. Plus, when you choose heart-healthy behaviors, not only can you lower your heart disease risk, but you can also prevent other serious chronic conditions. It might be easier than you think to incorporate heart-healthy habits into your lifestyle and make sure your loved ones have you around for a long time.
Be Physically Active
In short, move more and sit less. If you’re not a marathon runner, it’s okay; just get your heart rate up. All kinds of exercise are beneficial, from strength training and aerobics to flexibility and stretching exercises. Get at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity 5 days a week. You can even break it up if you want. Go for a morning walk, grab your weights at lunch, and shoot some hoops after dinner. It’s never too late to start incorporating regular physical activity into your lifestyle.
The other part of moving more and sitting less is the sitting less part. Sitting at work, in the car, and in front of the TV, all add up to a lot of sitting. Start by breaking up long periods of sitting as often as possible. Try taking breaks from your computer, standing up to watch your favorite TV show, walking around the house while you answer text messages and email on your phone, and parking farther from your destination and walk the rest of the way.
Eat a Healthy Diet
Healthy eating and drinking are important parts of maintaining a healthy heart. Choose more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, and low-fat dairy products. Select foods that are rich in nutrients, not just empty calories. Eating a diet of healthy foods can help with blood pressure, cholesterol, and weight. Replace unhealthy trans fats with healthy fats found in olive oil, fish, nuts, and avocados, and eat less added sugar. Use herbs and spices to flavor your foods when you’re cooking, instead of always adding salt. Finally, drink water every day.
Smoking affects the vessels that supply blood to your heart. Cancer, lung disease, and a higher chance of heart attack are linked to smoking. Secondhand smoke can cause heart disease in nonsmokers. Breathing in secondhand smoke damages your arteries. People who are exposed to secondhand smoke at home or work are 25 to 30 percent more likely to develop heart disease, and nonsmokers who have high blood pressure or high blood cholesterol have an even greater risk. Quit smoking and avoid secondhand smoke. Being smoke-free is one of the best ways to keep your heart healthy.
Stay safe, and take care of yourself with regular checkups. Know your health history and talk to your primary care provider to learn your health risks. Regular physical exams, blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol checks are important to keep your heart healthy. High cholesterol and high blood pressure have no signs or symptoms, so you won’t know you have them unless you get tested. Ask your provider how often you need a heart checkup.
You tune-up your car to keep it performing well, take the time, and do the same for your health. Preventative care isn’t selfish; it’s important. Do your heart a favor and stay heart healthy by incorporating heart-healthy habits into your lifestyle. At Men’s Best Primary Care, we provide top-notch primary health care in a relaxed environment with no wait times. Try us out with a $25 health screening. Find a location to get started.
- Heart-healthy behaviors lower your heart disease risk and can also prevent other serious chronic conditions.
- Get at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity 5 days a week.
- Eating a diet of healthy foods can help with blood pressure, cholesterol, and weight.
- Being smoke-free is one of the best ways you can keep your heart healthy.
- Regular physical exams, blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol checks are important to keep your heart healthy