This week in our 52 Weeks of Wellness, we want to focus on something that is very personal. We are going to look at 7 Tips For Heart Health this week, as we promote and remember that February is national heart health month. Since I am bypass and Kawasaki's disease survivor, this is near and dear to my heart. As we work this year to improve our overall health, we must accept and remember that our hearts truly are the very center of our worlds. Without good heart health, we are much more likely to suffer other physical issues that can be debilitating or even fatal.
7 TIPS FOR HEART HEALTH
Get routine checkups. Even if you are young and seemingly healthy, it is important to keep up with regular annual medical check ups. Annual physicals should include basic blood work, a full body physical exam to check for lumps, masses, suspicious moles or any other physical changes, as well as listening to your heart and potentially an EKG. If you have a history of high blood pressure or heart disease in your family, it is even more important to make sure that these items are looked into on a regular basis. Heart health isn't just a concern of those who are obese. Genetics can play a big part into the health of your heart and thus regular check ups are important no matter your age and overall health.
Keep cholesterol under control. One of those items that is often an indicator of poor circulation and heart health is your cholesterol level. The amount of cholesterol in your blood can be a concern, because it causes your heart to not function to its full potential. Follow doctors advice on healthy eating and take medications as prescribed if necessary to get this under control.
Limit stress. While stress induced heart problems are much more rare than other causes, they are still a cause for heart pain attacks every year. Do what you can to eliminate stress from your life and to encourage a healthier overall lifestyle both physically and emotionally.
Lose excess weight. If you are on this journey with us this year, you very likely are already working on this. Excess weight is one of the leading causes of heart problems. The strain on your heart to pump blood through your system becomes more difficult with each extra pound you carry. Being in a healthy weight range may not repair existing damage, but it can ease the burden your heart currently feels.
Include exercise on a regular basis. Exercise is great not just to help you lose weight, but to also keep your heart pumping regularly in a safe manner. Keep your heart going and improve your health by increasing your exercise regimen to become more consistent.
Stop Smoking. This nasty habit is one that has proven to increase your risk of heart attack. Improve your heart health immediately by putting the cigarettes down. Do not smoke or use any form of tobacco.
Limit your fat intake. Of course your diet changes will include limited fats, but go a bit farther by choosing healthier fats. Replace things like margarine and vegetable oil with olive oil, coconut oil and real organic butter. Skip salad dressings and add avocado to your salad instead for a creamy and tasty healthy fat.
This week as you continue on your journey to wellness, we encourage you to focus on heart health along with us. Put these 7 tips for heart health into place in your daily life as a way to protect your heart in the future.
Heart Health Posts:
What is Kawasaki Disease?
February is American Heart Month
It is OK to say NO (thank you)
Ways to Save on Healthy Foods
How to Eat Healthy on a Budget
How to shop at Whole Foods without spending your Whole Paycheck
Heart Healthy Weekly Menu Plans:
February Heart Healthy Menu Plan – Week 1
February Heart Healthy Menu Plan – Week 2
February Heart Healthy Menu Plan – Week 3
February Heart Healthy Menu Plan – Week 4
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