February is American Heart Month. No matter your age, making smart choices now will support a lifetime of health. Make a commitment this month to learn about healthy lifestyle habits for a healthy heart. Here are four tips to boost your heart health and help prevent heart disease and conditions:
Exercise—Regular cardiovascular exercise helps to keep your heart strong and healthy. The American Heart Association suggest 40 minutes of aerobic exercise of moderate to vigorous intensity three to four times a week (Association, 2015).
Eat nutritious foods—Foods rich in minerals, proteins and whole grains can help you control your weight, cholesterol and blood pressure. Limit saturated fat, trans fat, sodium, red meat, sweets and sugar-sweetened beverages (Association, 2015).
Get enough sleep—Studies show that you may be at a higher risk for cardiovascular disease if you don’t get an adequate amount of sleep. Researchers believe sleeping too little causes disruptions in underlying health conditions and biological processes, including blood pressure and inflammation (A. Marc Gillinov, 2016).
Manage your stress—Your body reacts to stress by increasing blood pressure, heart rate and muscle tension which over time can affect your health (Todd, 2015). Using techniques to relax or exercises, such as yoga to focus on breathing, help to prevent these reactions.
For more information on healthy heart tips and American Heart Month, visit the American Heart Association’s website at heart.org.
Association, A. H. (2015, 8). The American Heart Association’s Diet and Lifestyle Recommendations. Retrieved from American Heart Association: http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/HealthyLiving/HealthyEating/Nutrition/The-American-Heart-Associations-Diet-and-Lifestyle-Recommendations_UCM_305855_Article.jsp#.WFwyq-QzWM8
Todd, M. (2015, February 19). 5 Healthy Habits for Happy Hearts . Retrieved from U.S. News: http://health.usnews.com/health-news/blogs/eat-run/2015/02/19/5-healthy-habits-for-happy-hearts
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