It’s never too late to take care of your ticker! We wanted to share a handful of tips to help you keep your heart healthy!
Eat a colorful and varied diet. Eating the same thing every day takes away some of the decision-making and food preparation, but to get the most out of your food, you should be eating a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables along with different sources of protein (think fish). Moderation is key, so keep processed foods and desserts to a minimum while enjoying whatever is in season.
Stop smoking! We shouldn’t have to say this, but we will because it will make such a huge difference in the short and long-term. Need help? Here are some resources: http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/quit_smoking/index.htm or you can talk to your doctor. We’re sure he or she will be happy to help you kick the habit!
Get some exercise. Even 30 minutes of walking a day, five days a week will improve your cardiovascular health. You don’t even have to do all 30 minutes at the same time! 15 minutes in the morning and again in the evening will do it. In fact, even if you can’t fit in 30 minutes, ANY time you spend moving is better than nothing. Don’t think of exercise as something hard or intense—depending on your needs and abilities, a walk around your block or a few minutes on a treadmill will go a long way.
Manage stress. Easier said than done, right? It’s possible, though! Exercise helps, but getting enough sleep and finding a good stress relieving activity are all ways to manage everyday stress. It can also help to get involved in some sort of group activity (club, exercise group) or even making sure you have someone to talk to when you feel overwhelmed. This is especially important if you are in a caregiving role, you’ll need support!
As always, talk to your doctor about your particular risk factors (family history!) and steps you can take to keep your heart healthy!