8 TIPS FOR A HEALTHY HEART
While we can’t change our family history or genetics, more than 80 percent of cardiovascular disease can be prevented with simple, daily lifestyle modifications. Following these steps can help lower our risk for heart disease and increase our overall health.
The food you eat can decrease your risk of heart disease and stroke. Choose food low in saturated fat, trans fat, and sodium. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, fiber-rich whole grains, fish, nuts, legumes and seeds. Select low-fat dairy products and poultry. Limit sugary beverages and red meat. If you choose to eat red meat, select the leanest cuts available.
MAINTAIN A HEALTHY WEIGHT
You body needs fewer calories as you get older. Excess weight causes your heart to work harder and increases the risk for heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol. Exercising regularly and eating smaller portions of nutrient-rich foods may help you maintain a healthy weight.
It is recommended to get at least 30 minutes od moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity (e.g., brisk walking) every day. Muscle-strengthening activities are also recommended to ensure all major muscle groups are being worked. And, the more active you are now, the easier it is to stay active in years to come. Children should get at least 60 minutes of activity every day.
CONTROL YOUR BLOOD PRESSURE
High blood pressure is a major cause of hypertension and stroke in adults. There are many ways that you can lower your blood pressure and keep it under control, including reducing your intake of salt, maintaining diet alteration, and certain medications as prescribed by your doctor.
If you picked up smoking as a teen, now is the time to quit. Even exposure to secondhand smoke poses a serious health hazard. Nonsmokers are up to 30% more likely to develop heart disease or lung cancer form secondhand smoke at home or work, according to a U.S. Surgeon General report.
LIMIT ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION
If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation. This means an average of one to two drinks per day for men and one drink per day for women. (A drink is one 12 oz. beer, 4 oz. of wine, 1.5 oz. of 80-proof spirits or 1 oz. of 100-proof spirits.) Drinking more alcohol increases such dangers as alcoholism, high blood pressure, obesity, stroke, breast cancer, suicide and accidents. Consult your physician for more information.
CONTROL YOUR CHOLESTEROL
High cholesterol is one of the major controllable risk factors of heart disease. If you have other risk factors such as smoking, high blood pressure, or diabetes, this risk increases even further. The greater the level of each risk, the more that factor affects your overall risk. Your cholesterol level can be affected by your age, gender, family health history, and diet.
TAKE MEDICATIONS AS PRESCRIBED
Working with your doctor is key. It takes a team to develop and maintain a successful health program. Work with your doctors to determine your risk and the best approach to manage it. While medication may be involved, lifestyle changes are always important in reducing your risk for heart attack and stroke.
In honor of National Heart Awareness Month, SportProsUSA has teamed up with One Beat CPR & AED – an Exclusive Philips Partner offering Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) and accessories. From now until March 10, we will be giving away a free defibrillator with select purchases.
Click here for more information.
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