Protect Your Heart!

Categories: Active Living, Well Nourished, Workplace Wellness

A heart-healthy lifestyle will help prevent your chances of a heart attack. Here are some tips to lessen your chances of heart disease.

Quit smoking

Smoking is the single most significant risk factor for developing heart disease. If you don’t smoke make sure to avoid second hand smoke. Because according to the American Heart Association, exposure to tobacco smoke contributes to 34,000 premature heart disease deaths and 7,300 lung cancer deaths each year.

Exercise 30 minutes per day

Exercise has been shown to reduce your risk of heart disease. It will also keep your weight down; excess weight can cause other conditions that can put a strain on your heart, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes. Start with moderate and doable exercise that you enjoy, such as walking, dancing, swimming or biking. Don’t have 30 minutes to spare? Break it up into three 10-minute exercise breaks throughout the day.

Eat a heart-healthy diet

This is a diet rich in fruits, whole grains and vegetables. If you don’t want to go vegan or vegetarian (the best diets for your heart), choose lean meats and fish. Also avoid too much salt and sugar in your diet, and limit saturated (in red meat and full-fat dairy products) and trans fat (in deep fried fast foods, bakery goods, margarines, packaged snack foods). Stick to healthy fats from plant-based sources (avocado, nuts, olives, olive oil).

Keep your teeth healthy

Studies show that dental health is a good barometer of your overall health, including your heart; those who have gum disease often have the same risk factors for heart disease. So floss and brush your teeth daily.

Get your ZZZZs

Research shows that lack of sleep contributes to heart disease and stroke. One study showed that those who slept less than six hours per night were twice as likely to have a stroke or heart attack than those who slept between six and eight hours per night.

Step away from the computer

Staying seated too long is generally bad for your health. One study showed that each hour of sitting increased chances of heart disease by 14 percent! Reducing the time you spend sitting by even an hour or two can have a positive impact on your future heart health. So, get up, take a break!

Commit to making these steps easier for yourself and those around you. Join as a champion today!