February not only belongs to the warm and charming Valentine’s Day but also American Heart Month. Unfortunately, heart disease is an all-too-familiar group of heart-related illnesses including coronary heart disease that claims the lives of approximately 600,000 people each year according to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention. But this is only a daunting statistic; heart disease is preventable! By taking the necessary first steps and enhancing your basic knowledge of the heart, you are taking the crucial steps to physically strengthen your most infamous muscle!
So how do you become heart healthy?
1. Eat a healthy diet – A diet rich in omega 3’s found in foods like walnuts, salmon, flax seeds, coats the body with heart healthy nutrition. Keep your diet diversified and nutrient dense!
2. Exercise regularly – Cardiovascular workouts can be fun and unconventional. Walk hard or even try a kettle bell workout to blast fat! Always consult with a fitness expert like a professionally certified personal trainer.
3. Monitor your blood pressure – Plaque buildup can be sneaky so why not stay ahead of the game. Go to your doctor for regular check up’s to monitor all of your internal tubing.
4. Keep your lipid profile in check – Your total cholesterol level should be under 200 mg/dl.
5. Put out the buds for good – Quit smoking! Cigarette smoking significantly increases your risk for heart disease.
6. Limit your alcohol consumption!
7. Manage your stress – Managing your stress doesn’t mean 12 hours of daily yoga and meditation. Taking 10 minutes a day to focus on yourself and your breathing can do the trick.
8. Take your medicine – If you have already been prescribed medication for a heart condition then take your medication as instructed. Use a pill planner to stay organized. Prearrange the delivery of your prescriptions in order to prevent running out of your medication.
9. Manage your diabetes – Closely monitor your blood sugar levels.
10. Read then do steps one through nine.
Through some simple lifestyle and nutrition changes, you can be a victor not a victim in the battle against heart disease!