The best way you can take care of your heart is by living a healthy lifestyle.
While that may seem like it is obvious, more and more people fail to live a healthy lifestyle, and many folks aren’t exactly sure what it means to live a healthy lifestyle. In essence, living a healthy lifestyle means doing things each day that contribute to a healthy lifestyle.
We’ve put together a list of things you can do each day to take care of your heart.
The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends 150 minutes of cardio exercise per week (30 minutes x 5 days). Great options are brisk walking, cycling and swimming. Avoid long periods of sitting. If you have a desk job, schedule short walking breaks throughout the day. Consider getting a standing desk. Take the stairs sometimes.
If you are overweight, see number 1 and 2 above to work toward a healthier weight for your heart.
If you don’t know your cholesterol and glucose numbers get them checked. Some people have diabetes and aren’t aware of it. If you do have diabetes, everything on this list will be beneficial.
If you have high blood pressure, talk with your doctor about what lifestyle changes (diet, exercise, weight management etc.) you need to make and if you need medication.
Make sure that you are getting an annual checkup to check your blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose levels and talking about any health concerns. Your doctor may refer you to a cardiologist if you have heart issues. You may need to visit the doctor/cardiologist more often than once per year.
To the best of your ability, try to control the stress in your life. If you are having mental and emotional stress, consult with a mental health professional for coping mechanisms to lower your stress. Yoga, regular exercise and meditation can help to lower stress.
Try to get at least 7 hours of sleep per night. Both quantity and quality sleep matter. If you are having regular interrupted sleep, you may have sleep apnea which can affect your heart. If you do have sleep apnea there is a device that you can wear while sleeping for better quality rest.
If you smoke, you are probably aware that you should quit for a healthier heart. Both regular cigarettes and elctronic cigarettes are bad for your heart. Also, everyone should avoid being around second-hand smoke.
Most people will have at least one thing on this list that they can work on. Set some personal goals for yourself and when you accomplish them be sure to celebrate!
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