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© 2015 by Andrea Metcalf

10 Ways to a Healthy Heart

 

 

 

Women are amazing multitasking, super women!  We run the households, raise children, head up the boardroom and like men are more likely to die of heart disease than any other malady.  Heart attack and strokes are the number one killer of women in the United States.  One in three women will die of a cardiovascular disease according to the American Heart Association.  But even with knowing that if we take care of ourselves, we will do better taking care of others, our health regimens may be lacking.

 

 

Here are ten things you can do to build a better body and boost your heart health happiness.

 

  1. Walk the walk.  You know you should be waiting at least 30 minutes everyday, but may be remiss with a busy schedule.  Be a good role model for your friends and family and take a 30 minute walk before you head off to the office or get the kids out of bed.

  2.  Veg out.  Eating a diet with at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables is important for a healthy heart.  Vegetables tend to have more fiber than fruits and less sugars too.  But keep in mind all fruits and vegetables are chock full of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.

  3. Go fish.  Fish oils contain omega-3 fatty acids which help protect your blood vessels and heart.  Although you might not be up for a daily serving of cold-water fishes like tuna, mackerel and salmon, taking a Fish Oil supplement is an option.  Nature Made Fish Oil 1200 mg Liquid softball are purified to remove mercury, have no artificial flavors, colors or preservatives, bt are the #1 Pharmacist recommended Omega-3/Fish Oil Brand.

  4. Yogatate.  Combine strength and flexibility yoga with calming meditation and you get = Yogatation!  Try a simple sun salutation series with holding each pose for 30 seconds in the sequence.  This is a great way to enjoy yoga and help reduce blood pressure and resting heart rate with a regular practice. 

  5. Wine not?  Although there are heart-healthy benefits from grapes and wine, health benefits start declining after the first glass for women and second for men.  The American Heart Association also shows that heavy drinking in mid-life was linked to a 34% increased risk of having a stroke compared to light drinkers.

  6. Get social. Having friends not only helps you live longer but new research from Concordia University this year showed that friendships can improve heart function.  And many studies have shown those with fewest social contacts were at a 50% higher risk for dying of cardiovascular disease than those who had great social interaction.

  7. Be grateful.  Recognizing and giving thanks for the positive aspects of life can result in improved mental, and ultimately physical, health in patients with asymptomatic heart failure, according to research published by the American Psychological Association. Start a daily bliss journal or just take time to reflect on the amazing things you have in your life.

  8. Get a dog.  Owning a pet may protect your from heart disease.  Whether it’s the increased exercise pet owners seem to get from walking the dog or the relationship of man’s best friend, research shows that those who own pets have lower cholesterol levels and less risk for heart disease.

  9. Stop smoking.  This may be easier said then done, but even second hand smoke has been linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.  For light and even heavy smokers the percentages for successful cessation is still higher with unassisted drug medications.  Quitting cold turkey may not be for you but the percentage of success is promising.

  10.  Sleep in.  Getting a good night’s rest is important for overall health.  Lack of sleep doesn’t cause a heart attack, but the residual factors of insomnia can lead to weight gain, stress and other conditions that increase your risk factors.  Opt for 6-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep each night.

Knowing your heart numbers is probably the most important thing you can do to help prevent heart disease.  Getting annual blood work and blood pressure screenings can give you baselines to understand when something is not right and to take action.  Make sure to get an annual physical with your doctor and report any palpitations, shortness of breath or unexplained fatigue immediately to your caregiver.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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