Five Heart-Healthy Habits to Adopt This Year
February is the American Heart Association’s American Heart Month, which raises awareness about preventing heart disease and promoting healthy heart habits. Nearly half the American adult population is at risk for developing heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and other severe health conditions. In our efforts to create more proactive patient awareness, Pegalis Law Group, LLC analyzes five heart-healthy habits you can adopt this year for a happy, healthy life.
1. Follow a Heart-Healthy Diet, Full of Fish, Fruits, & Veggies
Many Americans eat a diet rich in salt, sugar, saturated fats, and processed meat, which has been linked to a higher risk of heart disease. Eating a diet full of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, unsaturated fats, and lean proteins such as fish, poultry, beans, and nuts is beneficial for your heart health. Try to cut back on your intake of sugar-sweetened beverages, processed foods, red meat, and foods rich in simple carbohydrates, such as white rice or bread and potatoes. Portion control can also aid weight loss.
2. Get Moving – Aim for 30 Minutes of Daily Exercise
Many Americans aren’t getting enough exercise, especially as more people work from home. Try to get at least 30 minutes of daily exercise to lower your risk of having a stroke or heart attack. Start by taking a walk around the neighborhood and work up the intensity level of your routine over time. Jogging, weight training, and swimming are all excellent aerobic activities that are good for your heart’s health.
3. Maintain a Healthy Body Weight for Your Age, Gender, & Height
Extra weight can put unnecessary strain on your heart and other organs, leading to diabetes, heart disease, and other health conditions. It’s essential to maintain a healthy weight for your age, gender, and height. If you are considered obese or overweight, just losing 5-10% of your starting weight should yield significant differences in your blood sugars and blood pressure.
4. Stop Smoking and Drink Alcohol Only in Moderation
Smoking impacts your heart health because the inhalation of smoke and the chemicals released into your bloodstream when you smoke are bad for your heart, arteries, and lungs. When you cut back or quit smoking, you should see changes to your health almost immediately. You may notice you’re less winded when you go up or down stairs. Drinking too much alcohol regularly can cause high blood pressure and irregular heartbeats. However, you don’t have to give up drinking altogether. Drinking in moderation may help some individuals increase their HDL (good cholesterol) levels. Talk to your doctor.
5. Get Plenty of Rest and Learn How to Manage Your Stress
Your body needs at least 6-9 hours of sleep each night. Resting gives your body time to heal and make necessary repairs. It can also put you in a more comfortable state of relaxation, reducing your body’s stress levels. Getting enough sleep and learning how to manage your stress better can help you keep your blood pressure and heart rate low to avoid damages to your heart and blood vessels over time.
Advocates for Proactive Patients in NYC & Beyond for 50 Years
In practice for nearly 50 years, Pegalis Law Group, LLC is a New York-based personal injury and medical malpractice law firm. We believe in educating the public about the importance of being proactive patients to ensure safer medical practices for all. Please visit our website and follow us on YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to receive additional updates about being proactive about your health.