lifestyle

Heart Health: Simple Steps to Prevent Heart Disease

lifestylehealth-wellness

February is American Heart Month. Heart disease can affect anyone of us and it most likely will affect someone you know. Fortunately, by following a few simple steps we are now able to control and even prevent heart disease.

Two female joggers on foggy Morro Strand State Beach

4 Ways to Help Your Heart

These easy-to-follow suggestions will help you live a happy and healthy life and will prevent heart disease.

1. Eat a Healthy Diet

Make your calories count by eating a heart-healthy diet high in fresh fruits and vegetables and low in sodium and trans-fat. Adults should have at least 5 fruit and vegetable servings each day.

2. Be Active

One of the best ways to prevent heart disease is to get up and get active. Physical activity for at least 30 minutes every day can help you maintain a healthy weight and lower cholesterol and blood pressure. One fun way to track your activity is a with a MOVband. It tracks all movement (walking, dancing, skipping, jumping, running) and converts that movement into mileage.

3. Get Enough Sleep

We all seem to function and feel better when we get enough sleep, but studies have shown that the long-term affects of sleep may be even more important. People who get the recommended 6 to 8 hours of sleep every night tend to live longer and have a higher quality of life during those extra years. Sleep affects our memory, creativity, weight, stress, and overall mental health. Even if you think you are able to effectively function with less, the long-term effects of too little sleep should be considered as well.

4. Maintain a Healthy Weight

As you put on weight in adulthood, your weight gain is mostly fat rather than muscle. This excess weight can lead to conditions that increase your chances of heart disease—high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes—and can dramatically reduce our enjoyment of everyday life.

Following these 4 simple steps can help you lower your risk for diabetes, prevent heart disease, and make your day-to-day life a much more gratifying experience.

What are you doing to take care of your heart?

Picture courtesy of Flickr

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