Updated: Oct 8
Did you know February is national Healthy Heart Month? Sounds like the perfect time to offer a few ways you can reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease! Sadly cardiovascular diseases, such as high blood pressure, stroke, and heart attack, are the number one killer of men and women in the U.S.... that is staggering!
The good news is there are some simple steps you can take to proactively help reduce your risk of disease while also strengthening your heart health.
How to get started.
Assess your current health stats - are there areas you could use a bit of of health & fitness improvement? Are there any health indicators that need to be addressed? What are you doing well and where are you able to implement meaningful change?
6 Key ingredients for a Healthy Heart:
Limit alcohol consumption to one drink a day for women, two drinks a day for men
Practice healthy eating habits
Engage in regular physical activity
Maintain a healthy weight
Know your numbers (i.e., cholesterol, blood pressure, BMI, waist to hip ratio)
Each of the aforementioned tips are small things that can make a BIG difference! The great thing about your health is one change, one choice, one step at a time you can create a better tomorrow! Chose a preventative stance by tackling just one thing today: can you move more? Eat better? Quit smoking? There is no time better than today to start utilizing some of the American Heart Associations recommendations for supporting a healthy heart.
Once you are on a healthy track, how can you maintain it? By continuing to incorporate healthy heart behaviors in your regular health and wellness routine!
Tips to maintain a Healthy Heart for life:
1. Follow a healthy and well balanced eating plan: a balance of lean proteins, healthy fats, whole grains and lots of fruits and veggies.
2. Engage in regular physically activity: the American Heart Association recommends 30min. of moderate to vigorous exercise 5 days a week. What counts as exercise? Here are a few fitness tips.
3. Keep up on regular wellness exams: partner with a health care provider you trust to help monitor your health & fitness, watch your numbers and keep an eye out for possible signs of increased disease risk. Naturopaths, primary care physicians, gynecologists, health coaches, nutritionists, personal trainers - they are all great resources!
4. Know your family history: no you can't escape your DNA, but when you know your risks you can proactively help decrease them!
5. Reduce daily stressors: stress less and smile more. Sounds simple right? So many of us live under constant stress, and that is a BIG challenge to your whole health (mind, body and spirit), especially your heart. Here are some tips to help you stress less and enjoy more.
6. Watch your waistline: belly fat is linked to an increased risk of heart disease. Crunches and planks are great for fitness and building those deep abdominal muscles, but exercise alone won't keep the belly fat at bay. Watch those empty calorie intakes, be mindful of calorie intakes vs. expenditures, and be aware of the diet roller coaster. Here are a few more tips to help you empower healthy dietary habits.
7. Get your zzzz's: getting at least 7 hours of sleep each night has been shown to boost memory, enhance immunity, reduce inflammation, increase productivity, sharpen mental focus, support a healthier waistline, reduce stress, and empower healthier habits.
8. Know the signs for heart attack and stroke: the symptoms are different for men and women. From numbness and weakness in the face, arms and legs, to sudden blurry vision, dizziness and/or mental confusion, to a severe headache with no known cause, often symptoms are overlooked. Visit www.heart.org for more information.
Take away - our time is precious and so is our health! The time we spend taking care of our body now will pay us back in droves. Taking proactive steps today while enable you to reduce your risk of chronic health issues down the road and prevention is always better for mind, body and spirit (not to mention pocketbook). Overwhelmed by the amount of changes? Start by tackling just one thing off the list, once you've got that down move on to another, then another and another...soon you'll have created a healthy lifestyle for a long and healthy LIFE!
Healthy eating begins with healthy food choices. And you don’t need a chef's culinary skill to create nutritious, heart healthy meals you will love. As you learn what to look for at the grocery store, restaurants, workplace and any other eating occasion, you'll feel empowered to make healthier choices.
Inside my FREE guide I will share 14 nutritious and delicious foods to help you eat heart healthy so you can...
Reduce your risk of disease
Support healthy body function
Empower healthy food habits
Support a healthy waistline
Boost your nutrition