You only have one heart, take care of it.
These are the current recommendations from the American Heart Association, Life's Simple Seven, to maintain a healthy heart and lifestyle. Following these simple steps can make a huge impact on your overall health and more specifically your heart.
- Don't smoke: If you don't smoke, perfect. If you do, make a plan to STOP. I haven't heard a health claim yet that has convinced me that smoking is good for your health in any way. #badisbad
- Maintain a healthy weight: This does not mean you need to make a goal to look like a super model or hope for a frail stick figure. This means you need to focus on a size that make YOU feel good. #saynotohollywoodsideaofpretty
- Engage in regular physical activity: Get moving! Don't be idle. If you like to shop become a mall walker and window shop. If you like to watch TV series, do it while on a treadmill. If you like the outdoors, ride a bike. If you hate to exercise, find something you do enjoy and add some activity to it. Start small and when your goal becomes easy or second nature, change it up!
- Eat a healthy diet: Keep a food journal and start to identify your problem areas. Make better choices and choose wisely but still enjoy life.
- Manage blood pressure: Check it! Numerous pharmacy's offer free blood pressure checks. Find out your numbers. If they are in a healthy range, periodically check it (every 3 months). If they are off: go to your doctor, clean up your diet and start exercising (don't try to run a marathon, start small and simple). Keep track of your numbers and how you feel. Knowing how you physically feel will help to identify when your blood pressure may quickly change. Know your body and listen.
- Take charge of your cholesterol: Get it checked! Know your number. If it is >200 you need help. Cholesterol comes from two sources: your body naturally makes it (we need it for several body processes) and from animal products we consume. So, every time you eat dairy products, meats, cheese or anything from an animal you are eating a cholesterol food. Plant based foods do NOT contain cholesterol. So how do you lower the cholesterol in your diet? Eat less animal products and MORE fruits and vegetables.
- Keep your blood sugar at a healthy range: Simple, check it. Either check it with a home glucose monitor (2 hours after a meal) or at a well visit with your doctor (they will check your glucose level when running basic blood tests). Visit HERE for healthy blood sugar ranges and to learn about your Diabetes Report Card.