National Heart Month – Tips to Keep a Healthy Heart

By: Josefina Romano, DPS Marketing Coordinator & Blogger

Did you know that February is National Heart Month? What better way to celebrate the month of love than taking care of your heart. According to the American Heart Association, cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death in the United States . Many of us fall victims to bad habits that cause our heart to work harder and deteriorate faster. However, there are numerous simple ways to start taking better care of your heart:

Get Physical

 Even the busiest person on earth could find time to exercise. If you feel limited on time to fit in some physical exercise into your day, then try to incorporate it into activities that you already do. Instead of sitting on the couch while you watch television try to do some light in-place jogging. You can also choose to skip TV altogether and take a light walk after dinner. Another way to stay active includes parking further away from the store or office and walking a longer distance. Even performing simple tasks around your home like cleaning up or cooking can become great opportunities for some heart pumping activities.

 Make the right eating choices

A good way to start eating healthier is by ridding your kitchen of junk foods that are high in sugar and salt to make more room for healthier non-processed foods. Once you feel like you can have a fresh start you can start better planning what healthy meals you will be having throughout the day, which is essential to a heart-healthy diet. By having a meal plan and a set snack schedule you will keep yourself from having unhealthy cravings at the end of the day. Another way to make sure that you are eating healthy foods for your heart is by avoiding eating out as much as possible. Eating out takes away your full control on what you are eating. It is preferable that you make your own meals at home so that you can maximize your nutrient intake and prepare your food in the healthiest way possible. If dining out is something you are not yet ready to give up just yet then don’t be afraid to ask the server how a meal is prepared so that you can make the best choices for your heart.

Avoid smoking

Many studies detail the evidence that cigarette smoking is a major cause of coronary heart disease, which leads to heart attack. There are numerous routes to take to stop smoking – some of them include nicotine patches, multiple step programs and even quitting cold turkey. The best news is that no matter how long or how much you have smoked you can cut your risk of heart disease as soon as you stop. After a few years your risk can drop as low as a nonsmoker.

Regular healthcare visits

Schedule a yearly visit with your doctor to ensure that your blood pressure, cholesterol and weight are at healthy levels.  If your results are alarming, then your doctor can provide you with suggested lifestyle changes and necessary medication to help get you back on track. Always remember that your doctor is a great source to recommend the best plan of action to keep your heart healthy but it is fully up to you to live a healthy lifestyle.