Healthy Heart

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The heart is a tireless engine that pumps and keeps us going so we can experience life to the fullest with our loved ones. However, there are latent risks associated with the sedentary and unhealthy habits that are part of our daily routines. Statistics reveal a shocking reality: being overweight, especially around the abdomen, is a significant risk factor for heart disease. A body mass index (BMI) of 25 or higher significantly increases cholesterol levels and blood pressure, contributing to the risk of heart disease and stroke.

These numbers highlight how important a healthier lifestyle is when it comes to protecting your heart.

1. Adopt a Healthy Diet: A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins is essential. Avoid saturated and trans fats, added sugars, and salt in excess. Consuming a balanced diet can help reduce the risk of heart disease.

2. Stay Physically Active: Regular physical activity is crucial for cardiac health. Aerobic exercises, such as jogging or running, swimming, dancing, cycling, and brisk walks, are particularly beneficial. These activities increase the heart and respiratory rate, improving cardiovascular health. A great starting point can be jogging sessions of 10 to 15 minutes and then gradually increasing their duration. The recommended objective is 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise per week.

3. Avoid Tobacco: Quitting smoking is vital, as tobacco use significantly increases the risk of heart disease and stroke.

4. Sleep More: A good night’s rest is essential. Adults typically need 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night, although this can vary with age and individual needs. Getting too little sleep has been linked to an increased risk of developing heart disease. To improve sleep quality, establish a regular routine, reduce screen time before bed, and create a relaxing environment in your bedroom.

5. Manage Your Stress: Along with meditation and yoga, other stress management techniques include deep breathing exercises, spending time in nature, engaging in recreational activities you enjoy, and seeking social support. Find the practices that work for you and dedicate time to them regularly.

6. Get Regular Checkups: You should visit your primary care physician at least once a year to better track your cardiac health. These exams should include checking the blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and, if necessary, blood glucose tests to screen for diabetes. Regular monitoring is essential to prevent or effectively manage heart disease.

In short, your heart is the engine of your life! Taking care of it is a daily task. Follow this guide and experience health with every beat of your heart. Looking to learn more about your cardiovascular health? Schedule an appointment with one of our specialists at the Salus clinics, available online or by calling 787.789.1996.

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