American Heart Month just wrapped up in the U.S. And with spring around the corner with its promise of new life with flowers abloom, it's a good time to think about your life with healthy habits that can lower your risk of heart disease. Heart healthy habits are good for your whole body (and brain) too.
|Boston Common by Carole Jakucs, 2016. Image subject to copyright.|
Increase your activity – Exercise 30 minutes daily to help maintain weight and improve overall fitness (check with your doctor before you start) which will help reduce your risk for cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.
Eat a healthier diet – Reduce or cut down on junk foods (pastries, chips, candies, sodas and alcohol) and bad fats such as saturated fats (red meat and full fat dairy) and hydrogenated oils (in junk foods and even some so-called healthy snacks and foods). Increase your intake of fresh vegetables and fruits, lean proteins and whole grains - to help maintain overall health by getting a variety of vitamins and minerals in your diet.
If you smoke – QUIT! Smoking damages the cardiovascular system and causes a multitude of health problems and illnesses.
De-Stress – Look for ways to decrease stress in your life as ongoing stress can raise your risk for cardiovascular disease.
Maintain a healthy weight – Find out what your healthy weight is for your height and body frame and work to stay within that range. Excess weight increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and some cancers too.
Monitor your serum (blood) levels of cholesterol and triglycerides (with your healthcare provider) with a goal of achieving readings in the heart healthy target levels.