September 23, 2018 | By: Contributor
You’re never too young or too old to take care of your heart! The choices you make now impact how your heart feels later on. You don’t have to be at a high risk for heart disease to take steps to prevent it. Anyone at any age can benefit from keeping their heart healthy! Here are simple tips on how you can prevent heart disease:
1. Practice a Healthy Diet
Something as simple as changing your unhealthy eating habits can have a profound impact on your heart. The key is to eat fewer processed foods and more fresh fruits and vegetables. You will also want to eat fiber-rich whole grains, fish, nuts and legumes. Avoid foods that are high in saturated fat, trans fat and sodium, like fried foods, chips, cookies, doughnuts and fast food. Try instead eating salmon, citrus foods, avocado and dark chocolate. Substitute your afternoon snack of chips to some almonds or blueberries! And don’t forget the spinach! Instead of lettuce in your sandwiches and salads, use spinach instead. Simple swaps here and there of unhealthy foods will help you gain a healthy diet.
2. Be Physically Active
This tip is one of the easiest to do and one of the most impactful. To keep your heart healthy, it’s so important to exercise. And exercise doesn’t have to be hard. It can be as little as walking around your neighborhood, or as much as running a marathon. Try setting aside an hour every evening after work to do something active, whether it’s going to the gym, practicing a sport, or simply going for a walk. All you have to do is be up and moving. If you’re not used to exercising, start off slowly by dedicating 2.5 hours of moderate-intensity physical activity every week. Once exercise becomes a part of your daily routine, it will become a habit that you won’t want to break!
3. Manage Stress
Stress has a multitude of negative effects on our bodies, most that we’re unaware of. Stress can be linked to heart disease in many ways. It is known to raise your blood pressure, and is often dealt with in unhealthy ways, like overeating, smoking and heavy drinking, which are all bad for your heart. It is important to breathe and focus on positive things rather than letting yourself worry, but we know that that is much easier said than done. To manage your stress, try exercising, listening to soothing music or focusing on something calm and peaceful.
4. Control Blood Pressure
Maintaining a normal blood pressure leads to a healthy heart! High blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart disease. If you are at risk for heart disease, make sure you are getting your blood pressure checked regularly and are taking steps to prevent or control high blood pressure. Steps you can take to control your blood pressure include eating healthy, exercising regularly, being at a healthy weight and limiting alcohol consumption. All of the tips for preventing heart disease are tips for controlling blood pressure too!
Can you prevent heart disease just by sleeping? Well, no. But, getting enough sleep is a critical way to help prevent it. Sleep deprivation has many negative effects on your health. People who do not get enough sleep are at a higher risk for obesity, high blood pressure, heart attacks, diabetes and depression. Most adults need 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night. If you’re constantly reaching for the snooze button on your alarm clock in the mornings, it’s a sure sign you’re not getting enough rest. Set a sleep schedule and stick to it by going to bed and waking up at the same times each day. Not only will you be healthier, but you will feel so much better.
Following all of these tips on how to prevent heart disease will also help you make strides toward improving your overall health. At Mac’s Pharmacy, we offer wellness clinics that teach you all about heart health. Learn more about the education and clinics we provide and visit us at Mac’s Pharmacy!