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Shine Some Love Into Your Heart This Month With These Heart-Healthy Tips!
February is heart health month and the perfect time to focus on cardiovascular wellness! The heart is recognized as one of the body’s most vital organs. This fist-sized organ fuels the entire body with life. That’s a pretty big responsibility! Implementing healthy choices is key towards prevention of heart disease and promotion of cardiovascular health. Empower yourself this month with proactive steps towards a healthy heart by introducing a diet low in cholesterol, exercising, smoking cessation, and scheduling annual examinations.
Shine some love into your heart this month. Here are some Heart-Healthy Tips:
1. Stay active: Exercise is an important contributor to cardiovascular heath by promoting circulatory blood flow and healthy weight. Depending on your health needs, there are various exercise options to enhance physical activity. Consult with your physician for an exercise regimen that's suitable for your health needs. Here are some ideas: Yoga, Tai Chi, walking, jogging, bicycling, swimming, and hiking.
2. Consume the “good stuff”: Diet greatly influences our overall health and wellbeing. Healthy foods fuel our bodies with nutrients needed for cellular growth and tissue repair. Certain foods contain nutritional properties that contribute positive benefits to heart health. Click here to read more on heart-healthy foods.
3. Limit unhealthy food intake: Foods containing little, if any nutritional value should be consumed seldom and in small portions. At best these foods should be left out of the diet altogether. They are referred to as empty-calorie foods because of the lack nutritional contents. Examples include fried ice cream, cotton candy, candy bars, and sodas.
3. Get an annual checkup: An annual examination is recommended regardless of the individual's age. Regular checkup’s allow practitioners to assess for abnormalities or changes in health status. There are various exams recommended depending on age and sex. Click here to learn more about annual examinations for your age and sex.
4. Be Proactive: Take a hands-on approach with choices that encourage heart-health. Most pharmacies offer free blood pressure readings, which is a great step towards cardiovascular wellbeing. Also, incorporate tips discussed in this article such as consuming healthy food choices, limiting empty-caloric foods, increasing physical activity (as tolerated), smoking cessation, and others. Being an active participant in your health is key for positive results.
5. Stay Educated: Knowledge is power. The best way to practice a healthy lifestyle is through continuous education and application of the information learned. Get acquainted with available resources such as our health blog, books, educational websites, programs hosted in your community, and courses available at local colleges and universities.
4. Smoking cessation: If you smoke, decrease the number of cigarettes smoked on average. The goal is to quit smoking altogether, but for some individual's a gradual decrease is more feasible than quitting "cold turkey". There are OTC (over the counter) and prescription drug options that a physician may prescribe to assist in the process of smoking cessation. Consult with your doctor for proper guidance.
5. Enjoy a glass of wine: Excessive alcoholic intake is never advised, yet a glass of wine has been shown to attribute to cardiovascular health. As quoted in WebMD, Dr. Goldberg states the following, "For women, up to one glass of alcohol a day and, for men, up to two glasses a day can help reduce risk of heart disease." Each individual has specific health requirements and introducing alcohol, even in small amounts, should be addressed first with your physician.
* All information shared in this article should be discussed with your healthcare provider prior to incorporating any suggestions. This article is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide advice or direct client decisions.
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