5 Simple Ways to Improve Your Heart Health

Bowl of fruit can be great for your heart healthIt’s been a busy start to the year for cardiologists and other cardiovascular specialists. New guidelines were released for high cholesterol and high blood pressure (hypertension) within a month of one another and there has been a lively debate surrounding these new recommendations. To top it off, February is American Heart Month, so more people have been thinking about their own heart health.

Ask the CDC and they’ll tell you that heart disease is the number one killer of both men and women in the U.S. It’s what specialists like to call a “silent killer”. Hundreds of thousands of people suffer from serious cardiovascular complications without having any prior knowledge that they were at risk.

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) encompasses a variety of medical conditions which impact the heart and vital blood vessels. This can include:

  • Heart failure
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Heart arrhythmia

Start Improving Your Heart Health Today

This is why events like American Heart Month are so important, because it’s an opportunity to teach more people about heart disease prevention each year. Fortunately, this deadly condition is preventable if you are willing to identify your risk factors and adapt some healthier habits.

Two of the leading risk factors in this country are obesity and smoking. Both of these put people at greater risk for:

(Quick Fact: It’s estimated that nearly one-third of American adults are obese.)

We have a few tips that could help you get started on your journey to long-term heart health. Please remember that you should also visit with your primary physician regularly to ensure that everything is in check.

1) Get 30 Min of Exercise Per Day

According to the Surgeon General’s recommendations, adults should be getting at least 2 and half hours of exercise a week. That’s roughly 30 minutes of exercise five days a week– it’s certainly manageable even with a busy schedule.

Regular physical fitness helps the body:

  • Maintain a healthier weight
  • Lowers LDL “bad” cholesterol levels
  • Helps maintain healthy blood pressure

2) Manage Your Weight

Obesity increases the odds that you’ll develop high cholesterol and CVD. You can ask your physician to measure your body mass index (BMI) to see where your weight stacks up. Your doctor will help you begin an effective diet plan and exercise regimen that’ll help bring you back into the healthy range for your age group.

3) Reduce Your Sodium Intake

Like sugar, sodium is something that more Americans need to be mindful of in their daily diets. High sodium diets will increase your blood pressure and can lead to hypertension. We’re not asking you to remove sodium completely, but reducing it even slightly can be beneficial.

4) Increase Your Potassium Intake

Studies have shown that potassium helps nurture stronger heart function by fueling its ability to beat. You can find potassium in a wide rage of foods, including:

  • Tomatoes
  • Potatoes
  • Avocados
  • Beans
  • Oranges
  • Bananas
  • Apricots
  • Raisins

5) Watch Your Alcohol Consumption

Some red wine might have some beneficial properties, but heavy alcohol consumption is detrimental for your heart. Just be sure to monitor or limit the amount of alcohol you drink.

Well there you have 5 new tips to help you get started! February is almost over, but it’s never too late to start incorporating some healthier habits into your life. In addition to these tips, you should also try adding more foods that are low in saturated fat and high in fiber to your diet.

We hope you enjoy the rest of February and be sure to tell at least one other person about American Heart Month!