September 29th is World Heart Day, a time to raise our awareness and pay more attention to our heart health. Though there are some genetic factors that may prevent optimal activity, these seven tips can help keep it strong.
Studies have shown that adults need a minimum of 150 minutes per week of moderate movement to stay in good health. But that doesn’t mean you have to be gym bound. Dancing, swimming, yoga, gardening or even walking outside can be a fun way to incorporate some physical activity into your daily routine.
Eat a well-balanced diet
Sometimes making better dietary choices can be easier said than done. Start by reducing the amount of processed foods you consume, which tend to be high in calories and fat. Instead, opt for fresh produce or nuts to satisfy your cravings. To really upgrade your heart health, follow the guidelines of the Mediterranean diet, which many studies have linked to lower risk factors for heart disease. More of a lifestyle than a restrictive diet, the recipes have a plant-based focus filled with the traditional flavors from the Mediterranean region.
A hydrated heart is a happy heart! Substitute water for sugary drinks, and make sure you’re getting at least 64oz a day. Flavor it with fresh lemon, lime, mint leaves or other natural ingredients for some variety.
When your body is well rested, it’s able to function at its highest capacity. So, getting the right amount of sleep is an essential part of good heart health. The American Heart Association recommends 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night, and consistency is just as important.
Take breaks during the workday, engage in an activity you enjoy, practice yoga or breathwork, spend time outdoors, talk to a professional therapist, listen to music, read a book, laugh with friends/family… However you prefer to bring down the volume in your life – without engaging in substance abuse – be sure to incorporate it as part of your weekly routine. When your mind is less stressed, your heart will be too.
Though habits like smoking and drinking have become socially acceptable, they can take a toll on your heart health. That’s because both can contribute to high blood pressure and too much cholesterol or sugar in the blood. This in turn causes plaque to build up inside your arteries, making it hard for blood to flow to the heart. Eventually, this could lead to a heart attack.
Schedule yearly physical exams
No one enjoys the yearly visit to a doctor’s office. But getting regular check-ups is an easy way to improve your overall health before an issue gets out of hand. Often your provider will order bloodwork to monitor your levels. Depending on the results of these tests, as well as your lifestyle choices, they may also request that you undergo an aorta ultrasound, EKG, or echocardiogram to ensure there are no blockages or disruptions to your normal heart rhythm.
Mas Imaging Portable Radiology can perform these exams in the comfort of your home, and on your schedule! Mobility issues? Transportation difficulties? Busy schedule? They’re no longer a problem. We bring hospital-quality technology to you, and your provider will receive the results within two hours of exam completion.