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Eat, Drink, and Be Healthy

7 Tips for a Healthy Heart

We all know we should be moving more and eating more fruits and vegetables to improve heart health, but what else can we do? Here are a few tips for a healthy heart!

  1. Stop smoking: It is the best thing you can do for your heart and overall health. Smoking is the most preventable cause of premature death in the U.S, and smokers have a higher risk of developing many chronic disorders, including atherosclerosis, or the buildup of fatty substances in the arteries.
  2. Know your weight, blood pressure and total cholesterol: These three health values are something to keep track of. Ask your healthcare provider about ideal numbers specific to you.
  3. Screen for diabetes: Untreated diabetes can lead to heart disease, among many other complications. It’s important to assess your risk factors and prevent it or have a strategy to manage it. Want to know more? Head to the Centers for Disease Control’s Diabetes Risk Factor Sheet or the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases Website for Prediabetes Screening Information!
  4. Build some muscle and preserve lean muscle mass: Strength training compliments cardio exercise by toning muscles and burning fat. In addition, proper strength activity can improve daily movements, decreasing the chance of injury. I am so passionate about encouraging resistance training in your regular exercise routine! The research is undeniable that it helps prevent multiple chronic diseases! Check out my CrossFit testimony to see why I incorporate strength training!
  5. Stress Less: Stress increases cortisol, which leads to weight gain, a key risk factor for heart disease. In addition, stress can lead to other unhealthy habits but also anxiety and depression, making it harder to stick to a heart-healthy program. Here are some reducing stress tips!
  6. Sleep More: Sleeping restores the body, helps decrease stress and increases overall happiness. Try to get 7 hours a night. Try these strategies to improve sleep.
  7. Limit the Junk Food: Swap out some of those processed foods for produce, nuts, lean protein, whole grains, etc. Added sugars, saturated fat and excessive sodium can all negatively impact heart health, as well as overall physical health.

Heart Healthy Snack Ideas

  • Fresh fruit dipped in Greek yogurt
  • Bell pepper slices with salsa
  • Zucchini or cucumber circles with tuna salad
  • Roasted chickpeas or kale chips
  • Broccoli and cauliflower florets with hummus
  • Popcorn with almonds
  • Rice cakes or whole grain toast with peanut butter
  • Cherry tomatoes, carrot and celery sticks
  • Low-fat or fat-free cheese with apple slices
  • Overnight oats
  • Fruit and veggie smoothie
  • Baked apple or peach with cinnamon
  • Raisins, dates, figs and other unsweetened dried fruits with nuts
  • Lean turkey slices with lettuce, onion, tomato
  • Frozen banana or grapes with dark chocolate

      Heart Health Fun Facts:

  1. The heart can continue beating even when it’s disconnected from the body.
  2. Your heart pumps about 2,000 gallons of blood every day.
  3. A woman’s heart beats slightly faster than a man’s heart.
  4. The first implantable pacemaker was used in 1958. Arne Larsson, who received it, lived longer than the surgeon who implanted it. Larsson died at 86 of a disease that was unrelated to his heart.
  5. Most heart attacks happen on a Monday.

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