We can all take steps to protect ourselves against heart disease. During Heart Health Awareness month, check out these great tips from our expert health coaches to help you develop heart-healthy habits!
Laugh out loud more often.
“Studies show that laughter helps with managing stress and also relieves the stress that damages the tissue that forms the lining of blood vessels. Laughing helps promote the healthy function of blood vessels.” – Christian Gabarda
Increase Your Activities of Daily Living (ADLs)!
“We are able to improve our heart health by moving around a little more. Physical activity does not have to mean going to the gym each day. It can be as easy as taking the stairs, parking your car farther away, and walking in place during commercials.”– Linda Dansevicus
Sit less and MOVE more!
“Making sure that you get the recommended minimum of 150 minutes per week or 30 minutes per day is one of the easiest ways to love your heart. When you regularly exercise, you are strengthening your heart and the ability to pump blood through the lungs and your body. Remember that every bit counts, and if you are strapped for time, start out with at least 10-minute bouts.” – Mandy Budzowski
Manage stress in healthy way!
“Research is currently being done on whether stress is directly linked to heart disease. However, stress can contribute to high blood pressure, overeating, and other behaviors that can hurt your heart over time. Find a healthy way that works for you for managing stress. Try deep breathing, meditation, exercise, or guided imagery. There are so many different options to try. Find the one that works best for you!” – Christine Jazwinski
Brush and floss your teeth every day!
“While it’s not what immediately comes to mind when we think of heart disease, cavities and other periodontal diseases can lead to heart disease in the future. Make sure your mouth and your heart stay healthy by brushing at least twice a day and flossing at least once a day. And don’t forget those dental checkups!” – Laura Yautz
Keep your ticker in check!
“Visit your physician regularly to monitor your blood pressure, cholesterol, talk about your lifestyle, and family history of heart disease. Learn about your numbers, what they mean, and what you can do to improve them. If you are prescribed a medication, follow the recommended dosage.” – Kayla Tannehill
If you smoke, quit!
“Smoking increases your blood pressure and heart rate as well as putting you at a 2–4 times higher risk of having a heart disease. Just 24 hours after stopping the use of tobacco, your blood pressure, heart rate, and risk of heart disease begin to drop. Talk to your doctor today about the different methods for quitting.”– Scott Pastorius
Monitor your blood pressure.
“High blood pressure is known as the silent killer because it often has no warning signs or symptoms. The only way to know your blood pressure is to have it checked on a regular basis. Healthy blood pressure is 120/80 mmHg and below. The sooner you are aware of any increases, the better chances you have of avoiding serious health problems.”– Ashley Bramble
“To reduce the risk of heart disease by a third or more, add fish — such as salmon, tuna, lake trout, mackerel, herring, anchovies, or sardines — to your diet once or twice a week. These fish are high in many heart-healthy nutrients, including omega-3 fatty acids. And don’t worry, all of the heart health benefits outweigh the risk of exposure to any contaminants, including mercury. When preparing fish for a meal, your healthiest options are to bake, broil, or grill.”– Ellen Fisher
Fight cholesterol with fiber!
“A plant-based diet with a variety of colorful fruits, veggies, and whole grains helps your body to lower blood cholesterol naturally. This will reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke, as well as filling you up without piling on the calories, which helps you maintain a healthy weight. Do you have a hard time getting fruit and vegetables in your diet? Make it easy with dried fruit sprinkled on oatmeal or a colorful salad. Try a vegetarian chili in the crock pot or spaghetti squash instead of pasta. Your heart (and waistline) will thank you.”– Ann Sobol
What steps are you taking to keep your heart healthy? Let us know in the comments below!