Heart health is one of the most important determinants of overall wellness. Many people know of the correlation between exercise and heart health, but did you know other factors help determine your heart’s health? Nutrition, sleep, stress management, and smoking all affect the condition of your heart. Making changes to your diet and adding physical activity doesn’t need to be challenging- start with simple, manageable changes to keep you motivated!
Did you know that the foods you eat have a direct impact on your overall health? Your heart benefits from a balanced diet. According to the American Heart Association (AHA), “adding fiber-rich, low-calorie foods like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains will help you feel satisfied on fewer calories” if you are looking to lose a few pounds.
You may have heard the buzz about sodium- while it’s essential for your body, too much is no good. Consuming more than the recommended amount of sodium is linked to high blood pressure and heart disease. Even if you don’t have high blood pressure, consuming less sodium can help reduce your risk of kidney disease, stroke, heart failure, and numerous other health conditions.
Physical activity is also a great way to take care of your heart- after all, your heart is a muscle, too! The AHA recommends that adults aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity for at least five days per week to increase overall cardiovascular health. Looking to exercise, but don’t wish to spend money on equipment, classes, or gym memberships? Look no further than your own two feet! Brisk walking has been proven to strengthen bones and muscles, improve your mood, maintain a healthy weight, and even prevent or manage conditions such as heart disease and high blood pressure! Best of all, walking is FREE and easy! Lace up those sneakers and enjoy!