Tips for Heart Health

In honor of heart health awareness month, here are some tips on keeping a happy, healthy heart. The heart is the hardest-working muscle in the body, beating 100,000 times per day! In order to maintain a healthy heart, it requires a combination or good diet, physical activity, stress management and positive life choices.

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Exercise

Staying active provides your heart with essential exercise, keeping it strong and healthy! There are endless benefits to regular exercise.

  • Improve blood circulations and lower blood pressure
  • Increase good cholesterol and decrease bad cholesterol
  • Reduce body weight
  • Increase muscle strength
  • Improve mood and distress

Research shows these benefits can occur with 30-60 minutes of exercise three times per week.1

Diet

It is important to feed your heart with a quality and nutritious diet. Eat a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. Avoid processed foods and consume foods in their most whole and raw state. Eating a well-balanced diet is one of the best things you can do for your heart.

Although, there are particular foods that are packed with extra nutrition that your heart desires

  • Salmon and other fatty fish are a great source omega 3 fatty acids
  • Oatmeal provides a sources of fiber that can lower cholesterol
  • Berries are filled with antioxidants and can decrease blood pressure
  • Dark chocolate (60% or more cacao) can reduce inflammation on the heart
  • Nuts are full of fiber and contain essential fatty acids

Manage Stress

The stresses of life can cause direct harm to our heart. A simple and natural way to fight stress is doing things throughout the day that bring happiness.

  • Work on a creative project
  • Read your favorite book
  • Take a walk
  • Have lunch with your friends
  • Listen to music

At the end of the day, take 10-15 minutes of alone time to relax. Sit in your favorite chair or picture yourself in a beautiful and peaceful place. Just a few subtle changes can improve moods and heart health.2

 

  1. Exercise and Cardiovascular Health. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/107/1/e2.full
  2. Four Ways to Deal with Stress. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/StressManagement/FourWaystoDealWithStress/Four-Ways-to-Deal-with-Stress_UCM_307996_Article.jsp
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