February is Heart Month, a time dedicated to raising awareness about heart health and encouraging individuals to prioritize their cardiovascular well-being. Let's explore practical tips and information to help you embark on a journey towards a healthier heart.
Embrace a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins and healthy fats.
Limit saturated and trans fats, cholesterol, salt and added sugars in your diet.
Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise per week.
Include strength training exercises at least twice a week.
Maintain a Healthy Weight:
Strive for a body weight within a healthy range to reduce the risk of heart disease.
Combining a nutritious diet with regular activity is key.
Smoking damages blood vessels, raises blood pressure and increases the risk of heart disease.
Quitting smoking significantly improves heart health.
Limit Alcohol Intake:
If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation. For most adults, moderate drinking means up to one drink a day for women and up to two drinks a day for men.
Chronic stress can contribute to heart disease. Practice stress-reducing techniques such as meditation, deep breathing, yoga or engaging in hobbies.
Get Quality Sleep:
Aim for 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night. Poor sleep can contribute to high blood pressure and to other heart related issues.
Schedule regular check-ups with your healthcare provider to monitor blood pressure, cholesterol levels and overall heart health.
Address any existing health conditions, like diabetes or hypertension, promptly.
Know Your Numbers:
Be aware of your blood pressure, cholesterol levels (LDL, HDL and total cholesterol), blood sugar levels and body mass index (BMI).
Understanding these numbers helps in managing heart health effectively.
Drink an adequate amount of water daily. Proper hydration supports overall health, including your heart.
Remember, these basics form the foundation for a heart-healthy lifestyle. Making small, sustainable changes in your habits can lead to significant improvements in cardiovascular well-being. Always consult with your healthcare provider before making major lifestyle changes, especially if you have existing health conditions.