Do You Know How To Keep Your Heart Healthy? Like clockwork, we celebrate American Heart Month every single February, since it’s so easy to remember heart health when we’re giving our hearts to loved ones for Valentine’s Day. Before you give yours to your loved ones, it’s important to make sure it’s healthy! Take these precautions for your heart health right here on Newsymom!
In this modern age, we are constantly bombarded with information on how to keep our hearts healthy. But, if you’ve ever tried to follow through on some of these tips, you may have found that they’re too complicated or time-consuming. That’s why we’ve created this simple guide in collaboration with our friends at the Tuscarawas County Health Department to keep your ticker healthy!
Healthy eating begins here:
Eat fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. You can’t go wrong with these foods. They’re full of fiber that helps you feel full longer. And they’re packed with vitamins and minerals that help support your heart health.
Eat fish and beans at least twice a week. Fish is high in omega-3 fatty acids, which may help reduce blood pressure by lowering inflammation in the arteries around your heart. Beans are an excellent source of fiber as well as other nutrients such as folate (a B vitamin), potassium and magnesium — all important for a healthy heart.
Limit saturated fats (from animal products) and trans fats (from partially hydrogenated oils). They raise LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels while lowering HDL (“good”) cholesterol levels — both of which increase your risk for heart disease.
Limit sugary drinks like soda or fruit juice because they can cause obesity which increases risk for diabetes mellitus type 2 and coronary artery disease.
Sodium intake should be less than 2,300 mg per day; however, most Americans consume 3-4 times this amount through processed foods or restaurant meals so try using less salt when cooking at home!
The best way to maintain your heart health is to exercise regularly. You don’t need to be an athlete or spend hours at the gym; even small amounts of physical activity can have a positive impact on your overall well-being, including your heart!
The American Heart Association recommends that adults get at least 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) of moderate aerobic activity each week and strength training twice a week.
Moderate aerobic activities include walking briskly, biking on level terrain or riding an elliptical machine at a moderate pace for 20 minutes per session. Not sure how hard you should be working out? Ask yourself: Would I be able to carry on a conversation with someone while doing this exercise? If so, then you’re probably doing it right.
These recommendations might seem daunting at first glance, but try breaking up those two hours into smaller chunks throughout your day instead: park farther away from work so that when you get there by foot instead of carpooling with coworkers; take breaks from reading emails by walking around outside during lunchtime; try adding some push-ups after brushing teeth before bedtime…the list goes on!
Blood pressure check
If you didn’t know, you could check your own blood pressure! Here’s how:
- You will need a sphygmomanometer (the medical term for a blood pressure cuff), which you can get at most pharmacies. (Try saying sphygmomanometer three times fast.) You could also try the cheat sheet method and use the free blood pressure checkers they have at stores such as Giant Eagle.
- Before taking your reading, sit down with your back supported and feet flat on the floor. Take a deep breath in and let it out slowly while holding the cuff firmly against bare skin at heart level. It should be wrapped around both arms or ankles if you’re checking either one separately; just be sure not to wrap too tightly so that it cuts off circulation!
After five minutes have passed since inflating the cuff, release air from inside as quickly as possible until there’s no more movement in either arm or leg being measured–this lets us know we’ve reached an accurate measurement point for our calculation purposes here today…
If your blood pressure is 140/90mm Hg or higher, you may have hypertension. If you are between 120/80 and 139/89 mm Hg, you may have prehypertension. Talk with your medical provider about your blood pressure reading if you have concerns, and call your physician immediately if your reading is high!
Heart disease risk factors
There are indeed factors that increase your risk for heart disease. Here are the top few:
Age. The older you are, the greater your risk of heart disease.
Gender. Men are more likely than women to develop coronary artery disease, but women have a higher mortality rate from heart attacks because they tend to die sooner after experiencing symptoms than men do.
Family history of heart disease or stroke (or both). If one or more close relatives has had either condition, then there’s a higher chance that you’ll develop it too; this is especially true if those family members were young when they developed their conditions (under age 55). However, having no family history doesn’t mean that you won’t develop problems–it just means that you’re less likely than someone with a history of cardiac issues in their family tree!
High blood pressure (hypertension). This can cause damage over time if left untreated; it’s important not only because hypertension increases your risk for stroke but also because high blood pressure makes other conditions like diabetes even harder on your body as well.
Follow these simple steps for heart health
Here are some simple ways to keep your heart healthy:
Eat a healthy diet. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, beans and other legumes. Avoid processed foods that contain trans fats (hydrogenated oils). Limit your intake of red meat. Limit the amount of salt you eat by choosing lower-sodium foods whenever possible.
Get regular physical activity–at least 30 minutes a day most days of the week!
If you have high blood pressure, work with your doctor on ways to control it before it gets worse (hypertension). High blood pressure can lead to heart disease if not controlled properly through medication or lifestyle changes like diet and exercise.
Now that you know how to keep your heart healthy, it’s time to put these tips into action! The Tuscarawas County Health Department wants you to know that the most important thing is to start small–even if it means just drinking more water or eating more veggies today. As long as you keep doing what works for you, then over time your heart will thank you for taking good care of it.
You can call the Tuscarawas County Health Department at (330) 343-5555 x. 100 to further check in on your health! You can also visit them at www.tchdnow.org to see what other services they offer you and your family.
Make sure to follow along on Facebook (@tchdnow) for the latest news and safety tips to keep your heart pumping and full of love each and every Valentine’s Day to come!