Your heart is the hardest-working muscle in your body, which is why you should take extra steps to protect it. Taking small steps in your everyday life can help keep your heart healthy and strong while warding off a variety of potential problems, with heart disease being at the top of that list. Here are a few simple tips for a healthy heart this new year.
The Importance of a Healthy Heart
Heart disease is the No. 1 cause of death in both men and women in the United States. According to the CDC, around 610,000 Americans die every year from heart disease. Plus, about 735,000 people in the country suffer a heart attack each year. While factors such as family history, age and sex can affect your overall heart health, adopting a healthy lifestyle sooner rather than later can only help improve it.
The CDC also reports that someone in the United States has a coronary event every 25 seconds. Heart disease symptoms can occur at any age, and a heart attack may be the first symptom you experience. Other key factors that impact your heart health are whether you have conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure or high cholesterol, if you’re obese or are a smoker, or if you make poor food choices on a regular basis.
If you’re worried you may be at risk for heart disease, the first step is to make an appointment to see your physician. Your doctor will perform an exam to determine your good and bad cholesterol levels, your body mass index (BMI), and your weight and blood pressure, which are all keys to making changes that improve your heart health.
Tips for a Healthy Heart
What’s good for your heart is good for your overall health. So, you’ll not only be protecting this vital, hard-working muscle, but you’ll also feel better, look better, and have more energy to enjoy life.
Improve your heart health with these five tips for a healthy heart:
Change your lifestyle.
Studies show that women who eat a nutritious diet full of fruits, veggies, whole grains and lean proteins decrease their risk of a heart attack by up to 92 percent. On top of a heart-healthy diet, incorporate exercise into your daily routine. It’s recommended to get your heart rate up for 30 minutes every day by finding an activity you enjoy, whether it’s walking, swimming, biking or chair exercises.
Quit those bad habits.
If you smoke or drink excessively, now is the time to quit, so talk to your doctor about some cessation methods available. These bad habits can take a toll on your heart health, and people who smoke are far more at risk of developing heart disease over non-smokers.
In a stressful situation, your brain releases potentially harmful hormones like adrenaline and cortisol which can negatively affect your heart health. Find ways to reduce the stress in your life and relax. Take time each day to unwind by turning off electronic devices, including the television, and enjoy the quiet, or spend time conversing with friends.
Enjoy regular social interactions.
Research shows that people who stay socially engaged have significantly lower blood pressure than those who are isolated, a major contributing factor to heart disease. Plus, a support system can even help you stay motivated to continue exercising on a regular basis, especially if you’re working out as a group.
Get a good night’s sleep.
When we sleep, our bodies have a chance to shut down and recover, and our blood pressure and heart rate go down, too. Experts recommend getting at least seven hours of sleep every night to give their heart the break it needs to work strongly throughout the day.
Looking for a health care provider who truly cares about you? ACV Health offers comprehensive care in a convenient and familiar environment. At each appointment, you are welcomed with the warmth of a small doctor’s office while still receiving the scale of care available from a much larger office. Our services range from primary and specialty care to rehabilitation and an on-site pharmacy.
Call today to schedule an appointment – our friendly providers would love to speak with you.