Do your part to maintain a healthy heart! 6 tips to promote optimal heart health!
February is national heart health month. Along with national heart health month, February 14 is also Valentine’s Day. In support of national heart health month, and promoting a healthy heart for yourself or a loved one, Keenan is providing 6 great tips for you to promote optimal heart health!
- Exercise regularly – The American Heart Association recommends a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate physical activity every week (5 days per week for 30 minutes). Exercise promotes proper weight management, which reduces the chances of developing other conditions such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes. Examples of heart healthy exercises are walking, biking, dancing, stair climbing, swimming, jogging, and even gardening.
- Limit fat intake – A low-fat diet can help you maintain low cholesterol and blood pressure levels. Eat more chicken and fish. Use heart-healthy olive oil when preparing meals. Reduce your intake of high-fat dairy products like cheese, ice cream, and whole milk and replace them with fresh fruits and vegetables.
- Eat 4.5 servings of fruits and vegetables each day – According to the USDA, an adult consuming 2,000 calories per day should consume 2 1/2 cups of vegetables and two cups of fruit per day. Fruits and vegetables are high in vitamins, minerals and fiber – and they’re low in calories. Eating a variety of fruits and vegetables may help you control your weight and blood pressure. Fruits that promote heart health are melons, grapefruits, apples, and bananas. Vegetables that promote heart health are asparagus, celery, broccoli, peppers, and spinach.
- Monitor your sodium intake – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommend a person consumes no more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium per day. If you’ve been diagnosed with high blood pressure or another heart related condition, that number is reduced to 1,500 milligrams of sodium per day. The average American consumes 3,400 milligrams of sodium per day. Excessive sodium intake raises blood pressure and poses health risks. Eat more natural foods (chicken, fish, fruits, and vegetables) and make sure to always ready your food labels.
- Don’t smoke – Smoking or using tobacco is a significant risk factor for developing heart disease. If you already smoke, it isn’t too late: Your risk of heart disease drops within one year of quitting smoking.
- See your primary care physician on a regular basis – High blood pressure is often referred to as the “silent killer” because a person can have no symptoms before a heart attack or stroke. Maintaining a current relationship with your primary care physician is critical to optimal heart health. During your visits, they can check your blood pressure and cholesterol levels indentifying any potential issues.