Healthy Heart ABCs
Anytime is a good time to begin a healthy lifestyle; however getting started can be challenging. Research from Mintel’s Healthy Lifestyles US 2015, cites two in five Americans think that there is so much information on health out there, they don’t know where to turn. Nonetheless, incorporating healthier lifestyle habits can reduce the risk of developing heart disease. Many of these lifestyle changes are also important for preventing other diseases like high blood pressure and diabetes. While there are numerous ways to maintain a healthy heart, getting started can be as easy as ABC:
- Avoid smoking. Smoking and second hand smoke of any amount increases the risk of developing many chronic illnesses. Whether it is through medicine or therapy, finding a way to quit smoking is important. If you consume alcohol, make sure to do so in moderation as well.
- Be more active. Get some physical activity, as little as 30 minutes a day, several times a week to build a strong heart. An active lifestyle also can help lower stress, which promotes a healthy heart. If you need a companion to motivate you, consider bringing your furry friend on your next evening walk or morning jog. Having a dog around may also promote better heart health. To learn more, read our previous blog article, “Dogs and Your Heart Health.”
- Cut the bad diet. Opt for a chicken breast sandwich instead of the cheeseburger (ditch the fries!) and enjoy a variety of nutritious foods. Try including nuts and legumes with leafy greens for a balanced diet. Combined with exercise, a good diet will help you reach and maintain a healthy weight and heart that minimizes the chances of a heart attack, stroke and other health risks.
- Don’t forget your checkups and screenings. Here’s an extra tip. Prevention is the best cure, and it works best when you take initiative to talk to your doctor and schedule the right screenings. Screenings and checkups become more important as you age, however do not neglect them earlier in life, especially if you have a history of heart disease in your family.
Learn more about Heart Health Care at PIH Health.