Your heart is continuously working, pumping blood to every organ and tissue in the body. Without a properly functioning heart, the entire body suffers and is kept from consistently getting the oxygen and nutrients that it needs. Fortunately, there are some simple and easy steps that you can take to keep your heart healthy and strong, even if you are at an increased risk for heart disease.
- Fit exercise into your daily routine
Getting regular physical activity will not only help tone your muscles and improve your appearance, but it will also increase your cardiovascular efficiency.Make a dedicated effort to get out and exercise for at least 30 minutes a day for most, if not all, days of the week.
- Control your weight
Obesity increases your risk for developing high blood pressure and high cholesterol, two contributing factors to cardiovascular disease. If you are struggling to maintain a healthy weight, consult with your doctor to formulate a weight loss plan that fits your needs and lifestyle.
- Eat a heart-healthy diet
Eating a nutritious, balanced diet can help control your weight, fend off illness, and prevent heart disease. As part of a heart-healthy diet, choose a variety of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins (such as fish and poultry), and low-fat dairy products. Avoid processed foods and foods high in sodium, as these tend to raise blood pressure. Foods high in saturated fats and trans fats can increase your risk of heart disease by increasing blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
- Avoid smoking and second-hand smoke
Smoking is one of the most important risk factors for heart disease that can be easily modified through changes in lifestyle. If you smoke, quit—and if you don’t, avoid the habit. If you are having problems quitting, ask your doctor for help.
Taking good care of your heart is essential for living a long, healthy, and fulfilling life. If you are interested in learning more about making healthy choices every day, contact the healthcare team at Menorah Medical Center by calling (913) 498-6000.