The 4 keys to a heart-healthy lifestyle

The 4 keys to a heart-healthy lifestyle

The steps to maintaining a healthy heart are fairly simple: eat a healthy diet, exercise, maintain a healthy weight and don’t smoke. However, a recent study shows that fewer than 3 percent of American adults actually follow those guidelines. 

If you're one of the 97 percent of American adults who aren’t practicing healthy heart habits, don’t be discouraged. It’s never too late to adopt positive lifestyle changes, especially if you haven’t yet developed a chronic condition such as high blood pressure or high cholesterol. If you have developed one of these conditions, it’s incredibly important to adopt a heart-healthy lifestyle as soon as possible.

Start following these four pillars of heart health today:

Eat a healthy diet. A heart-healthy diet includes fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy products, whole grains, lean meats, unrefined carbohydrates, nuts, seeds and legumes.

Stop smoking. Smoking tobacco leads to heart disease. It’s also the leading preventable cause of premature death in the United States. Stopping smoking is one of the most important things you can do to protect your health and the health of those around you.

Get moving. Engage in physical activity that keeps your heart up for 30 minutes a day, five days a week. Our bodies weren't designed for a sedentary lifestyle, and lack of physical activity is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Try walking, running, biking, swimming or rowing five times per week to get started. 

Maintain a healthy body weight. Extra body weight puts pressure on your body, raising your risk for heart disease, stroke and more. Keep weight off by following the above nutrition and exercise guidelines and by consuming fewer calories than you burn.

Learn more about your heart health by talking to your primary care provider

Posted: 6/13/2016 by Goshen Health
Filed under: Heart and Vascular

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