The American Heart Association strives to inform the public about staying heart healthy. That’s why they’ve come up with Life’s Simple 7–to provide a guide that’s easy to follow and understand to stay healthy.
About 30% of adults in America have high blood pressure or high cholesterol. About 1 in 4 deaths is attributed to heart health issues, including many that could be avoided. The American Heart Association (AHA) compiled a list of Life’s Simple 7 to follow to either get healthy or stay healthy.
1. Manage Your Blood Pressure
Managing blood pressure involves knowing what your blood pressure is. If you can’t remember the last time you took your blood pressure, it’s time to get that done.
Once you know your numbers, learn how to lower them or maintain them as needed. High blood pressure greatly increases the risk of strokes, heart attacks, and heart disease.
2. Control and Manage Your Cholesterol
Very similar to blood pressure, high cholesterol can lead to heart disease and stroke. Cholesterol builds up in the arteries and can create blockages.
Cholesterol comes from fatty and fried foods, like fast foods. Not all cholesterol is bad though, so you just need to choose the healthy kinds!
3. Reduce Your Blood Sugar
Glucose is naturally in a lot of the foods we eat. It’s used to energize our bodies and keep us going.
However, too much glucose and added sugars can lead to heart, kidney, and nerve damage. Try to avoid foods with added sugars, like baked goods and candy.
4. Exercise More
Never underestimate the positive effects of exercise on your body and your mind. Regular exercise keeps you at a healthy weight and keeps all of your muscles, including your heart, strong.
Aim for 30 minutes of medium-intense exercise at least 5 days a week. You’ll be happier and healthier!
5. Improve Your Diet
Dieting is half the battle. Most heart health problems wouldn’t occur if everyone ate the perfect diet.
Eating a balanced diet and cooking at home more often can help you to lose weight and become healthier.
6. Lose Excess Weight
Being overweight or obese can cause problems with your heart, lungs, and bones and joints. It’s also hard to do everyday tasks and feel good.
By losing weight you can play more with your kids and feel more involved in all activities. Eating well and exercising regularly will help tremendously.
7. Quit Smoking
Countless studies have shown the immensely unhealthy effects smoking has on your body. It not only causes lung problems but heart problems, too.
Quit smoking to feel better and free from the addiction. You’ll have more energy and live longer!
For more information, here’s a video about Life’s Simple 7: