Quick tips to keep your heart beating strong all year round.
February is American Heart Month. A great reminder to take care of our hearts as a part of our self-care. Heart-healthy living involves understanding your risk, making choices, and taking steps to reduce your chances of getting heart disease.
Heart disease is a leading cause of death in the United States for both men and women. But you can do a lot to protect your heart and stay healthy.
Here are a few quick tips to keep your heart beating strong all year round.
💖 Know your numbers: Blood pressure, cholesterol, and A1C. If you do not know your numbers, schedule an appointment with your doctor and find out.
💖 Maintain a healthy weight: If you are currently overweight, losing a few pounds can improve your health. Aim to lose 5 – 10% of your current weight. Losing one pound a week adds up over time. Being at a healthy weight allows your body to circulate blood more efficiently. As you get closer to a healthier weight you will lower your risk of developing chronic conditions like diabetes, heart disease, breathing problems, certain cancers, osteoarthritis, and sleep apnea. A bonus is that you may experience more energy as well.
💖 Get your body moving with a good workout: Regular exercise has more benefits than just physical health. Exercise releases endorphins, reduces stress, improves sleep and so much more. To improve and maintain physical health you should aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week. That is about 22 minutes per day. You do not have to commit to hitting the gym for an hour each day to gain the benefits. Plan in scheduled blocks of movement that you like and know you will do. If you don't exercise at all, a brief 10-minute walk is a great way to start.
💖 If you smoke, quit: Cigarette smoking is the leading preventable cause of death and illness in the United States. The chemicals in tobacco smoke can damage the function of your heart, and the structure and function of your blood vessels. Smoking harms nearly every organ in your body.
💖 Manage stress: Try breathing slowly and deeply for a few minutes a day. It can help you relax. Slow, deep breathing may also help lower blood pressure.
💖 Eat a well-balanced diet: This one is my favorite. You have to eat every day so why not take a little extra time to make it a little more healthy.
💖Stop drinking your calories. Cutting out just one sugar-sweetened soda or coffee drink can cut out 100 calories per day. Over a year that can add up to a 10-pound weight loss.
💖Count your blessings: Take a few minutes each day to acknowledge the blessings in your life is one way to tap into positive emotions. Positive emotions are linked with better health, longer life, and greater well-being. Over time it will help you to reduce chronic anger, worry, and hostility. Those emotions contribute to high blood pressure and heart disease.
#hearthealthy #heartdisease ##hearthealth
Hello! I'm Jori Zimmerman, a nutritionist and owner of Nutrition Savvy. I work with individuals that are looking to make dietary and lifestyle changes that will lead them to living a healthier and higher quality of life.