February 14, 2019
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that about 610,000 people die from heart disease every year. This makes it the number one cause of death for both men and women. While some risk factors, like your genetics, can’t be changed, many of the risk factors can be lessened when you focus on living a heart-healthy life.
Here are a few strategies you can start using today.
Increase Your Fruit and Veggie Intake
Fruits and veggies give you many nutrients you need to be healthy. They are naturally low in fat and calories and high in fiber, so making them part of an overall healthy diet can help you maintain a healthy weight.
To increase your daily intake of these healthy foods, try adding one serving of fruits and vegetables to every meal. For breakfast, make a smoothie packed with spinach and a variety of berries. Add a salad or a side of steamed vegetables to your lunch or dinner. You can also pack small jars of vegetables and fruits to take with you on the go.
Limit Your Screen Time to Get a Good Night’s Rest
Using tablets, smartphones, televisions, or other electronic devices before bed slows down your body’s production of melatonin, a sleep-inducing hormone. Without a steady increase in melatonin, it can be challenging to get a good night’s rest. Sleep deprivation affects your heart health, regardless of other factors.
Take a 10-Minute Walk Each Day
Having a rigorous exercise program that combines cardiovascular activity and strength training is best. However, if you don’t have a lot of time, just get in a 10-minute walk each day. Go quick enough to get your heart rate up to burn a few calories.
Nosh on Nuts
According to a study done at Harvard Medical School, eating nuts regularly can reduce your risk of death from heart disease by 29%. Eat a handful of nuts each day to get optimal benefits.
Spending less than an hour of weightlifting each week might reduce your risk of stroke or heart attack by up to 70%. You can get the benefits of strength training without combining it with running, walking, or other cardiovascular activities. Try hitting the weight room for a few minutes each day.
Stop Drinking Your Calories
Being overweight can increase your risk of heart disease. When you drink liquids like fruit juices, alcohol, or soda, it’s easy to consume a lot of calories and get little nutritional benefit. Set healthy limits on alcohol – just a drink or two to reduce the number of calories you drink. Additionally, drink more water on a daily basis.
If you’re looking for other ways to increase your heart health or need to discuss your risk factors for heart attack and stroke, give our office a call or book online.