This article will discuss give ten examples of healthy habits to try to incorporate into your life. A healthy lifestyle is a key to achieving your goals.
The 10 Healthy Habits you are about to read are part of a new initiative created by the American Heart Association called My Heart, Your Health.
Here are the 10 steps to a healthy heart, in order of importance:
Being overweight is linked to an increased risk of developing heart disease. Make sure to watch your caloric intake, and be careful not to overeat.
Reducing fat intake is beneficial, but eating more fiber, fruit, and vegetables is important to lower heart disease risk.
Start a diet if you are heavy, or try some of the steps discussed below.
The American Heart Association recommends 60 to 75 minutes of moderate-intensity activity (e.g., brisk walking) every day.
Smoking causes lung cancer and heart disease and can increase your risk of stroke and the development of dementia.
Quitting smoking reduces your risk of heart disease by 70%.
Quit drinking alcohol
Alcohol can increase your risk of stroke and is also a significant contributor to heart disease.
If you cannot give up alcohol completely, don’t consume more than one drink per day.
Eat fruits and vegetables
A diet high in fruits and vegetables is good for your heart and overall health.
Your body digests and absorbs the nutrients from fruits and vegetables very quickly, and they also help lower cholesterol and blood pressure levels.
Maintain a healthy body weight
Bodyweight can have a major impact on your health. If you are overweight, your risk of heart disease increases dramatically.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends losing 10% of your body weight.
Talk with your doctor about a diet and exercise program that you can work on.
High blood pressure can increase your risk of heart disease.
Good blood pressure control reduces your risk of stroke, heart attack, and other heart conditions.
Smoking is an addiction that can be very difficult to overcome, but quitting can increase your life expectancy.
Many quit smoking and have dramatic results.
Try a cigarette-free support group for people who have successfully quit smoking.
Quit drinking and start a healthy lifestyle
If you cannot completely stop drinking, drink in moderation and get out of the bar scene.
The CDC recommends the maximum amount of alcohol you should drink each week is no more than one drink per day for women and no more than two drinks per day for men.
Avoid excess salt
The salt in your diet can increase your risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke. Consume more potassium and sodium from foods to decrease your sodium intake.
Processed meats have been shown to increase your risk of heart disease.
Limit your intake of cured, grilled, smoked, or salted meats such as bacon, ham, hot dogs, sausage, and corned beef.
What you can do to help protect your heart
Maintain a healthy weight and exercise regularly. If you are obese or overweight, your risk of heart disease increases.
- Quit smoking and don’t drink alcohol.
- Decrease your intake of salt and saturated fats.
- Get enough vitamin D and calcium.
- Exercise moderately.
- Know your blood pressure, cholesterol, and body mass index.
- A great start to living a heart-healthy life.
Increasingly, we have all heard about these unhealthy factors. However, other important factors can contribute to heart disease and may be overlooked.
Control high blood pressure
High blood pressure can increase your risk of heart disease. If you are not already on blood pressure medication, talk with your doctor about your options.
Watch cholesterol levels
If you have high cholesterol, your risk of heart disease is increased. In some cases, you may not need to take medication.
A blood test is the best way to check your cholesterol levels.
Smoking is a major risk factor for heart disease.
If you have tried to quit smoking but haven’t been successful, speak with your doctor about medication or even therapy.
Eat a healthy diet
Eating a healthy diet is one of the best things you can do for your heart. There are many ways you can improve your diet, including:
Soup! Make chicken and vegetable soup once a week to reduce heart disease.
Make chicken and vegetable soup once a week to reduce heart disease. Salad! Choose a diet rich in fiber, antioxidants, and potassium to decrease your risk of heart disease.
Choose a diet rich in fiber, antioxidants, and potassium to decrease your risk of heart disease. Fruit! Eat fruit every day to decrease your risk of heart disease.
Eat fruit every day to decrease your risk of heart disease.
Avoid added salt.
Avoid excessive amounts of salt on your foods and control your blood pressure. Don’t drink soda.
Soda can increase your risk of heart disease. Instead, drink water and limit the amount of sugar you consume.
If you would like to learn more about diet, stop smoking, and maintain a healthy weight, talk with your doctor about your options.