Have you taken a moment to evaluate your lifestyle and see if you can make some changes to increase your heart health? We all know that there are certain risk factors for heart disease that are hard to avoid. Some of these include: Being over 65, male (sorry guys!), African American, or having a family history of heart disease.
According to the American Heart Association you can do three very important things to keep your heart healthy and defend against heart disease.
1. Avoid Tobacco. Time to quit smoking. Smoking doubles your chances for heart disease.
2. Exercise Regularly – 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week is what is recommended. Take a look at your day – how can you fit it in?
3. Eat Healthy – easier said than done, right? Time to put away the sweets and focus on those vegetables, fruit and whole grains. Try to cut back on the salt while you are at it as well.
Now, those may seem like common sense, but here is one that I bet you didn’t know! Being optimistic also helps! I know! An 11-year research study recently published by the Health Behavior and Policy Review indicated that people who are optimistic were 50-76% more likely to have health scores in the intermediate or ideal ranges. The most optimistic participants were twice as likely to have ideal cardiovascular health.
So, keep smiling, surround yourself with those things that keep you optimistic and stay joyful.
If you need more support in your pursuit of heart health, PeaceHealth is here with screenings and events, nutrition and health advice, and teams of specialists who never miss a beat.