February is National Heart Month, giving us the opportunity to shine some extra light on the importance of your heart health. With the proper diet, exercise and other precautions, you can make a better effort to protect your heart. A simple change in your lifestyle can make a great impact in reducing your risk for heart disease. Changing your eating habits and living an active lifestyle are the most crucial changes you can make for your heart health.
Copley at Stoughton’s dietitian, Deb Moriarty, gives some advice in this month’s blog on how to keep your heart pumping healthy and strong year-round.
First of all, it is important to be aware of all the key risks of cardiovascular disease. Remember that knowledge is power. The key risks include but are not limited to:
- High Blood Pressure
- High Cholesterol
- Being Overweight
- Poor dietary habits
- Not being physically active
- Consuming excessive amount of alcohol and sugar
- Family History
Below are some simple “heart conscious” changes you can make to your diet starting today:
- Add more green, orange and yellow fruits and veggies to your diet. These types of veggies are very fibrous and loaded with vitamins and minerals that your heart needs. Getting your vitamins and minerals through your diet is a lot more beneficial than taking a supplement!
- Use whole-grain brown rice instead of white rice. Whole grains are loaded with heart healthy fibers and nutrients! Fiber lowers the bad cholesterol in your body. Lower Cholesterol = a happy, healthier heart!
- Eat fish at least twice a week. Oily fish like salmon, tuna, trout and sardines are filled with omega-3 fatty acids, which lower inflammation. Inflammation can damage your blood vessels and lead to heart disease.
- Cut back on foods containing saturated and Trans fats. These types of fats tend to raise your bad cholesterol and lower your good. These types of fats make your risk for developing heart disease higher.
- Do not add table salt to your meals. High levels of sodium can cause high blood pressure, plus, we already consume plenty of salt naturally through the food we eat!
- Cut back on drinks containing alcohol and added sugar (beer, wine, soda, juice) High consumption levels of alcohol can negatively affect your heart muscles and binge drinking can cause your heart to have irregular rhythms.
When it comes to living an active lifestyle, it is very easy to make excuses not to. Try to remind yourself that living an active lifestyle has more positive effects on your body than what is visible to the eye! The key is to stay moving year around. Simple walks are great for getting your heart rate up and stretching regularly works wonders on your muscles!
Keep your heart strong with these simple at home workouts-you may find yourself more motivated than ever once you realize how easy it can be!
To check out more simple workouts follow the link below: http://www.diabeticlivingonline.com/diet/fitness/seated-flexibility-cardio-strength-workout?page=10