February is HEART HEALTH Month!by Phillips Clinic on 01/31/24
February is Healthy Heart Month. To help keep your heart in shape, here are some ways the CDC recommends to help keep a healthy heart and prevent heart disease.
By living a healthy lifestyle, you can help keep your blood pressure, cholesterol, and sugar normal and lower your risk for heart disease and heart attack. A healthy lifestyle includes the following:
HEART healthy diet.
Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables and fewer processed foods.
Eating foods low in saturated fats, trans fat, and cholesterol and high in fiber can help prevent high cholesterol.
Limiting salt (sodium) in your diet also can lower your blood pressure. Limiting sugar in your diet can lower you blood sugar level to prevent or help control diabetes.
Eating two or more servings a week of certain fish, such as salmon and tuna, may decrease your risk of heart disease.
At moderate levels, ALCOHOL may have a protective effect on your heart. For healthy adults, no more
drinks a day for men. (12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine & 1 1/2 ounces of liquor) Too much alcohol can be a health hazard.
BE SMOKE FREE
Smoking or using tobacco is one of the most significant risk factors for developing heart disease. Chemicals in tobacco can damage your heart and blood vessels, leading to narrowing of the arteries, causing plaque buildup (atherosclerosis). Atherosclerosis can ultimately lead to a heart attack.
Smoking decreases oxygen in the blood, and makes the heart work harder, contributing to high blood pressure. The good news is, the risk of heart disease reduces as soon as you quit. So, no matter how long you’ve smoked, quit!
Regular, daily exercise can reduce the risk of heart disease. When you combine physical activity with other lifestyle measures, such as maintaining a healthy weight, the payoff is even greater.
Physical activity can help you control your weight and reduce your chances of developing other conditions that may put a strain on your heart, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes.
According to the Mayo Clinic :
“In general, you should do moderate exercise, such as walking at a brisk pace, for about 30 minutes on most days of the week. That can help you reach the Department of Health and Human Services recommendations of 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity, 75 minutes a week of vigorous aerobic activity, or a combination of moderate and vigorous activity.
For even more health benefits, aim for 300 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 150 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity every week. In addition, aim to do strength training exercises two or more days a week..”
Fish contain unsaturated fatty acids, may lower cholesterol. But the main beneficial nutrient appears to be omega-3 fatty acids in fatty fish. Omega-3 fatty acids are a type of unsaturated fatty acid that may reduce inflammation throughout the body. Inflammation in the body can damage your blood vessels and lead to heart disease and strokes