Do you want to be your heart’s best friend?! I know I do, and a healthy heart is a happy one. Follow these easy steps to keep your heart feeling young and healthy!
1. Don’t Smoke or use Tobacco. The chemicals in tobacco can harm the heart and blood vessels in the body. Cigarette smoke causes high blood pressure and an increase in heart rate, which makes the heart work harder. The more you smokes, the more damage is done. This is why it is essential to quit as soon as you can!
2. Exercise. It is essential to get at least a total of 30 minutes of exercise as many days of the week as you can. Physical activity boosts your metabolism and builds your endurance. Also, exercise can decrease you chances of developing high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes.
3. Eat a Healthy Diet. A diet filled with variety and moderation is essential. Fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can help protect your body from irreversible damage. A quality source of protein that contains a low amount of fat can make you feel full and prevent snacking on extra empty calories. Adults should be consuming 5 to 10 servings a day of fruits and vegetables, and limiting saturated and trans fats. Foods high in saturated fat include red meat, full fat dairy products, and coconut and palm oils. Sources of trans fat are deep-fried foods, bakery products, packaged snack foods, margarines, and crackers. Limiting these fats may lead to decreasing cholesterol levels. Polyunsaturated and monounsaturated are the ideal types of fats to consume. Some sources of healthy fats are plant based: avocado, nuts, olives, and olive oil.
4. Maintain a Healthy Weight. Being overweight and having excess weight around the midsection increases your risk of developing high blood pressure and high cholesterol, which lead to excess stress on your heart. This is why having regular physical activity and a well-balanced healthy diet is key. Losing weight can be difficult, but a small weight loss can be beneficial to your health.
5. Get Proper Sleep. People who do not get enough quality sleep have an increased rate of obesity, high blood pressure, and depression. Most people find this result very shocking! The typical adult needs 7 to 9 hours of sleep every night. But who doesn’t want an extra excuse to sleep more?
It might be challenging at first, but don’t give up! Try to surround yourself with a great support system and stay positive. Following these steps can prolong your life and keep your heart healthy.
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Posts by Kelly Springer, RD
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