Live longer with these 8 heart-healthy lifestyle tips
- 2 Minutes Read
If you want to live a longer and healthier life, apply these 8 heart-healthy lifestyle tips to help you prevent heart disease-the #1 killer.
The American Heart Association (AHA) offers a list of ideas for lowering your chances of getting a heart attack or stroke. Tune into this list starting now to give yourself the best opportunity for a long and heart-healthy life!
Your heart is a muscle and needs a workout. Adults who want to reduce heart attack or stroke risk should aim for 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic exercise, 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity, or a combination of both spread throughout the week. The AHA also recommends including muscle-strengthening exercises at least twice a week.
One of your best weapons for preventing heart disease is a healthy diet that includes a base of veggies, fruits, whole grains, lean proteins, fish, and plant-based fats. Eat less added sugar, salt (sodium), red meat, processed meats, highly processed foods, full-fat dairy, and tropical oils. Looking for an eating pattern that satisfies these requirements? MyNetDiary’s Mediterranean Premium diet has you covered.
If you are overweight, losing hazardous abdominal fat is a smart goal for your lifelong health. First, check your weight status using a Body Mass Index (BMI) calculator. Next, work toward a BMI of less than 25. Find it overwhelming? Then aim to lose 10% of your starting body weight. For more help setting a healthy target weight, check out this guide to setting a healthy weight goal.
If you are a smoker, put this one at the top of your list of heart-healthy lifestyle changes. Smoking is harmful to your health and the health of those around you. Don't put it off; just quit now.
High cholesterol can clog the arteries. Controlling your cholesterol helps lower the threat of artery blockages. The cholesterol panel blood test measures total blood cholesterol and the important blood-fat fractions that affect your chance of a heart attack or stroke: HDL (good), LDL (bad), and triglycerides. If you don't know your numbers, ask for tests from your doctor.
Basic blood cholesterol goals for the general public are listed below. Make sure to discuss your results with your doctor. Depending on your health conditions, your cholesterol goals may be more conservative.
High blood pressure significantly increases your risk of heart disease and stroke. A blood pressure reading within a healthy range lessens the strain on your heart, arteries, and kidneys. Aim for less than 120/80. Physical activity, losing weight, following a low-sodium diet, and not smoking can help control your blood pressure. If you take blood pressure medication, take it as directed and work with your doctor if you need a change.
Over time, high blood sugar can damage the heart, kidneys, and arteries. Unfortunately, many people are unaware they have diabetes because they can’t feel when their blood sugar is above target range. If you are overweight, ask your doctor if you need a type 2 diabetes screening. In fact, anyone age 45 or older should get screened for diabetes.
If you have diabetes, managing your blood sugar is critical to your health. This heart-healthy lifestyle habit will lower your risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes complications.
Adults need between 7-9 hours of sleep a night. Getting adequate sleep promotes healing, improves brain function, and reduces the chances of chronic disease. On the other hand, short sleep duration or overall poor sleep has been associated with elevated blood pressure and cholesterol and an increased chance of gaining weight and developing type 2 diabetes. Plus, if you wake up rested, it will be that much easier to make it to those early morning gym sessions!
What can you begin doing today to implement these heart-healthy lifestyle tips? Your heart will thank you!
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