February is Heart Healthy Month. This makes it the perfect time to learn about your risk for heart disease and tips to help your heart. Therefore, we have put together a few tips for a healthy heart.
Tips for a Healthy Heart
The following are just a few tips for a healthy heart:
Visit Your Doctor
Visit your doctor here at Brashear Family Medical. We can check your blood pressure and blood lipids (like cholesterol).
Additionally, we can discuss diet and medication options to help boost your heart health.
The best thing you can do for your heart and overall health is to quit smoking. Smoking is the most preventable cause of premature death in the U.S.
If you smoke, you have a higher risk of developing many chronic disorders, including atherosclerosis. When you combine smoking with other heart disease risk factors, this increases the risks associated with those factors.
Check Your Weight
Find out your BMI. If you need to lose weight, consider a comprehensive lifestyle change with a combination of the following:
- physical activity
- behavior therapy
Increase Your Physical Activity
Try to get 2.5 hours of moderate intensity aerobic physical activity each week. You can start small, even 10 minutes at a time make a difference. Also, consider incorporating more movement throughout the day.
Some great ways to increase your physical activity include the following:
- Go for walks in the morning and/or evening
- Part farther away from your destination
- Take the stairs
- Get up and stretch for a few minutes for every hour you sit
- Drink plenty of water so you get up regularly for refills and to use the restroom
- Consider adding just a few minutes of exercise that includes strength training before you shower
- Stand or walk whenever you take a phone call
- Suggest walking meetings at work
Follow a Heart Healthy Diet
You can begin with one or two of the following steps to improve your diet:
- Add an extra serving of vegetables to your day
- Take fruit with you for a snack when you are work, school or running errands
- Start your day with whole grains
- Eat more fish and limit how much red meat you eat
- Slowly decrease your sugar intake
- Reduce your sodium intake
- Explore other seasonings, such as fresh lemon juice, or herbs and spices to add flavor without sodium
- Choose non-fat or low fat (1%) dairy products
These are just a few tips for a healthy heart. For more information on how to improve your heart health during Heart Health Month 2019, contact us here at Brashear Family Medical with the link below!