Heart disease is a big problem in the U.S. It is the leading cause of death, making it a big target for health advocates everywhere. The entire month of February, in fact, is dedicated to American Heart Month. This annual recognition underlines the importance of maintaining heart health. There is no perfect time to start, other than the present, which is why we have included several tips to help make sure you begin your heart-health journey on the right foot!
Move Your Body
The nine-to-five desk job lifestyle is a major contributor to heart disease. Unfortunately, there is little anyone in this particular circumstance can do to change it, apart from a major career move. However, don’t let a desk job get in the way of your body’s yearning to move around. There are little changes you can introduce into your daily schedule that will get your blood flowing while reducing the stress of your job. Set a reminder on your phone every hour to move around. Whether that is standing up and stretching, walking over to the water cooler, or offering to take the mail out. If you want a little more daily exercise that can be accomplished right at your desk, consider investing in a pedal bike or a standing desk. These items allow you to be active and productive all at the same time!
This might feel like a heavy hitter for anyone with the habit. It probably isn’t the first time you were confronted with quitting, but maybe in the context of heart health, it will be the last. Smoking is a huge contributor to heart disease, as it places unnecessary strain on the life-giving muscle, and makes each pump that much more difficult. Luckily, quitting the habit not only stops, but has been proven to actually reverse some of the damage done. Consider making this change to ultimately improve your quality of life.
It’s the age-old New Year’s resolution, isn’t it? Get started on that summer body before the earth begins to thaw. However, this key piece of advice doesn’t come from a place of vanity. Consulting a BMI chart, for example, will give you valuable insight as to how healthy your organs are. Excess weight makes all organs, including the heart muscle, work harder. Start small, start simple, but decide today to start making healthier choices when it comes to food. A great way to get started is simply to control portions of the foods you already love. Additionally, incorporate heart-healthy foods into your diet, such as fatty fish and green vegetables. You might be surprised by how quickly you notice a difference in your energy levels!
A big contributor to heart disease is stress. If you are in a line of work that is particularly stressful, make it a point to section out time for small breaks. If you struggle with anxiety, consult a physician for tips or medication that will reduce your day-to-day stressors. Consider meditation or exercise as an outlet for these negative emotions, and you’ll find yourself knocking out two of the items on this list at once!