You're one week into American Heart Month. What changes have you been making to improve your cardiac health? Protecting your heart is one of the best ways to ensure a long, healthy, and comfortable life. Consider adopting these top ten ways to care for your heart and health.
- Start moving. Aiming for thirty minutes of cardio exercise a day is crucial for your heart health, but staying moderately active throughout your day is also important. If you work behind a desk, get up every hour or so to stretch and walk around.
- Stop smoking. A cigarette habit not only increases your lung cancer risk, but it can also harm your heart.
- Cut back on sodium. A salt-filled diet typically leads to high blood pressure and other cardiac complications.
- Relax. A chronically stressful lifestyle is hard on your heart. Make time to enjoy a bubble bath, a long talk with a friend, or a moment of meditation.
- Adjust your eating habits. A heart-healthy diet is filled with fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. Consume red meat in careful moderation.
- Maintain a healthy weight. You don't need to be stick thin, but obesity is linked with heart disease. Losing excess pounds could result in a healthier future.
- Go easy on the alcohol. Too much alcohol puts stress on your heart, sometimes creating lasting damages or hypertension. Limit yourself to one or two glasses a day.
- Get omega-3 fatty acids in your diet. These good fats can decrease your risk of heart disease. Try to get regular helpings of fish, flax seed, nuts, or eggs in your daily diet.
- Schedule regular check-ups. If you monitor important numbers like your cholesterol and blood pressure, you'll know when something is off and you can get your health back on track before a serious problem occurs.
- Go to the emergency room at the first sign of a heart attack. Cardiac problems aren't always a dramatic event, and you have a small window of time to begin the most effective treatments. As soon as you experience chest pains or another sign of a heart attack, head straight to the hospital. Don't try to "be strong" or wait and see if you feel better on your own.
At Oak Hill Hospital, we want to give you the tools you need to stay heart healthy. Join us on February 15 at the Silverthorn Country Club for our second annual Heart Failure Symposium. Five guest speakers will address issues such as nutrition, rehabilitation, and heart conditions. Dinner will be provided. For more information, view our calendar of events. Registration is required.
If you have any questions about heart health, contact our free Consult-A-Nurse® service anytime at 1-888-741-5120. Physician referrals are available upon request.