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Tips to get Heart Healthy

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Most middle-aged and young adults have one or more risk factors for heart disease, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or being a smoker or overweight. Having multiple risk factors increases your risk for heart disease, but making small lifestyle changes can improve your overall health and your heart health.

Follow these healthy lifestyle tips to protect your heart.

  • Be more physically active.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Eat a nutritious diet.
  • If you smoke, quit.
  • Reduce stress.
  • Get quality sleep.

Here are some healthy and fun suggestions to get heart healthy.

  • Find an exercise buddy - Ask a friend to take a virtual walk with you on a regular basis, put the date on both your calendars, and text or call to make sure you both get out for a walk. Sign up for the same online exercise class, or schedule a regular dance party with your kids.
  • Aim for a healthy weight – Plan out your meals. Add more color to your plate; veggies are delicious and low-calorie. Find a friend who also wants to reach or maintain a healthy weight and share low-calorie, low-sodium recipes.
  • Quit smoking – ask others for support or join an online support group. Research shows that people are much more likely to quit if their spouse, friend, or sibling does as well. Join a Smoking Cessation class or call 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) to reach a quit smoking hotline.
  • Manage stress - Do a relaxing activity every day, like walking, yoga, or meditation. Physical activity also helps reduce stress. If you need more support, talk to a qualified mental health provider or someone else you trust.
  • Improve sleep - Sleeping 7–8 hours a night helps to improve heart health. De-stressing will help you sleep, as does getting a 30-minute daily dose of sunlight. Remember to turn off the screen and stick to a regular bedtime.
  • Track your success - Keeping a log of your blood pressure, weight goals, physical activity, and if you have diabetes, your blood sugars, will help you stay on a heart-healthy track.
  • Don’t do it alone - Achieving a healthy lifestyle will be easier and more successful if you have the support of your friends and family.  Feeling connected with others benefits our overall health and having people share in your goal helps keep you motivated and engaged.

If you have a family history of heart disease or any of the risk factors be sure to discuss your heart health with your family physician. Holy Redeemer Cardiovascular Center provides diagnostics, treatments and ongoing therapies for the cardiovascular system. For more information, visit Heart Care.