Say NO to smoking or tobacco. Smoking or using tobacco is one of the most significant risk factors for developing heart disease. The chemicals found in tobacco can damage your heart, causing atherosclerosis (narrowing of the arteries) which could cause a heart attack or heart failure.
You are what you eat. Eating a healthy diet means making permanent changes to your diet that include eating more fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Limiting certain fats is important; aim to get your protein from low-fat dairy products, lean meats and lower fat fish.
Get up and move! Regular, daily physical activity can reduce your risk of fatal heart disease and other conditions such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes. Try for 30 minutes every day or three 10-minute sessions. You should try to raise your heartbeat for at least 10 minutes and increase it gradually over several weeks.
Don’t forget your ZZZZZ’s. People who don’t get enough sleep have a higher risk of obesity, high blood pressure, heart attack, diabetes and depression. Most adults need seven to nine hours of sleep each night, if you are putting in the time but still feel tired, consult your physician. You may have sleep apnea or a thyroid imbalance. Signs and symptoms of sleep apnea can include snoring loudly; waking up often; and having headache, sore throat or dry mouth upon awakening.
Knowledge is power.
A vital key to healthy living is having regular checkups and knowing your medical history. The path to your best health starts by identifying the numbers that affect your health such as blood pressure, BMI, and cholesterol levels. Download your Know Your Numbers booklet and take it to your next wellness check up. Your doctor will appreciate you being proactive!