February is American Heart Month, so why not take some time to think about your ticker and how you can live healthier? Heart disease is the number one cause of death in the United States, but there are many things you can do to reduce your risk and help prevent it. Here are 5 simple ways to live a heart healthy life, starting today!
1. Watch what you eat
Eating healthy is an important part of protecting your heart. Be sure to include fruits and veggies, whole grains, and fish in your diet. Stay away from foods that are high in saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium. Also limit alcohol and foods with lots of sugar.
2. Get moving!
Exercise is another important component of a heart-healthy lifestyle. The American Heart Association's recommendation is that adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise each week. Try a brisk walk on your lunch hour, parking further away from your office building or walking the kids to school to add some extra exercise into your daily routine.
3. Kick the habit
Smoker? You have already increased your risk for heart disease. The chemicals in tobacco can damage the heart and blood vessels of the heart and can cause narrowing of the arteries. If you quit now, your risk will be lowered significantly after just one year.
4. Maintain a healthy weight
Excess weight gain is usually from fat, and this can lead to other conditions which may increase your risk for heart disease, such as high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol. Maintain a healthy weight by eating healthy and getting adequate exercise.
5. See your doctor
Prevention is key for a healthy heart. It is much easier to prevent heart disease by controlling your risk factors, than waiting until it is too late. Seeing your doctor for regular checkups will allow him or her to check your numbers and risk factors, and help you control them before they lead to more serious problems.
Here at Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point, we know the importance of taking care of your heart. To find out more about living a heart healthy life and lowering your risk for heart disease, visit us online. For information on particular conditions of the heart and treatment options, call our free Consult-A-Nurse® service at 1-888-741-5119.