One important way to manage heart disease and maintain heart health is to make healthy lifestyle choices. Heart disease is one of the most serious health issues affecting American men and women today. As we get older it becomes harder to stay in good health. Consider these lifestyle changes to help you maintain good heart health:
• Control your blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol levels. High blood sugar levels can damage vital organs including your heart. High blood pressure makes it hard for your heart to work properly and bad cholesterol can clog your blood vessels.
• Eat more fruits , vegetables, beans and whole grain.
• Stay active. Build up to exercise sessions of 30-60 minutes several times a week.
• Maintain a healthy weight.
DASH to Good Health ~ Controlling Your Blood Pressure
High Blood Pressure is common in people with heart disease. The centers National Institute for Health have created DASH (Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertention). This is a diet that helps lower your blood pressure with healthy eating and lifestyle changes. The plan includes which foods to eat for heart health, recipes to make tasty and nutritious meals and exercise tips for any age or fitness level.
Exercise is another important part of a heart healthy lifestyle. When you exercise, your body releases endorphins that help reduce stress and promote a sense of well- being. Exercise can also help lower your ‘bad’ cholesterol, raise your ‘good’ cholesterol, improve your blood sugar control and reduce your blood pressure. Here are some ways to get more active throughout the day:
• Leave the elevator and make more trips up and down stairs.
• Choose a parking spot that’s further away than usual.
• Walk together with a friend.
• Use part of your lunch break at work to walk for 10 minutes.
• Play active games with your kids or grandkids.
Heart Health for the Whole Family
When it comes to heart health, what is good for you is good for the whole family including the very youngest members. By teaching your children, grandchildren and other young family members the importance of eating well and getting regular physical activity, you will help them develop healthy habits for a lifetime.
Let them see you eating healthy nutritious snacks and enjoying outdoor activities. Invite them to join you. Show young children how to clean fruits and vegetables and combine them into salads. Teens can learn to make simple healthy dishes such as pasta, vegetables and baked or broiled chicken and fish.
Try to engage in activities that they enjoy so that won’t think of exercise as a chore. Go on outings such as hiking, swimming or bike riding.
Heart Health for a Lifetime
It does not matter how young or old you are. Whatever your age, you need to take action to protect your heart. Do remember to consult your doctor before beginning any diet or exercise program.
For more information visit: Help in Lowering Your Blood Pressure and Cholesterol
To Your Continued Health and Success!