Happy Heart Month - Tips For A Healthy Heart
As we wrap up Happy Heart Month let’s take a moment to truly appreciate the most incredible muscle in the human body. Did you know that your heart, on a daily basis, beats over 100,000 times pumping over 2,000 gallons of blood through the more than 60,000 miles of blood vessels in your body?
Regardless of whether you’re sleeping or awake, your heart continues working. The cardiovascular system is amazing and also amazingly important to one's longevity. With this in mind, taking care of your heart and cardiovascular system should be an important part of your life and lifestyle choices.
Here are a few things you can start doing today to improve your heart and overall cardiovascular health:
Make sure you EXERCISE. Different types of exercise are needed for complete fitness. Aerobic exercises along with stretching and resistance training are best for heart health. With a rise in heart and respiration rates during aerobic-based exercise, it improves circulation which helps lower blood pressure and heart rate.
The recommendation is to do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise a week. Some common examples of aerobic exercise include brisk walking, swimming, riding a bike or even playing tennis. It is good to consult with your doctor before deciding which option may be best for you.
A healthy DIET. What enters and fuels your body greatly impacts your overall heart and cardiovascular health. There are a wide range of foods that help promote a healthy diet such as whole grains like whole-wheat flour, whole-grain bread, whole-grain pasta and brown rice. Eat more fresh fruits and vegetables because they will not only increase your vitamin and mineral intake but also will decrease higher calorie foods as well. When considering fats choose the monounsaturated fats (e.g. olive oil or canola oil) and polyunsaturated fats (avocados, nuts/seeds, certain fish, etc.) instead of saturated fats. These good fats may help lower your total blood cholesterol.
- Get a good night's SLEEP. The CDC recommends getting 7 or more hours of sleep each night. They say adults that sleep less than 7 hours a night tend to have more health issues that help lead to heart disease, stroke and heart attack. Some of the big problems include high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and obesity.
Although this is not an exhaustive list of ways to promote heart and cardiovascular health it is a great place to start. If you have concerns and want help combating some of these issues reach out to your medical care professional as soon as possible.
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