Men are somewhat notorious for putting off taking care of their health.
They want to “power through” the pain. Sound familiar? Let the arrow help, check out these simple tips to get a Heart-Healthy lifestyle!
1 – Be Physically Active. Set a goal to exercise for 30 minutes, 5 days a week. You can start simple by walking for 30 minutes a day to strengthen the heart muscles, to maintain a healthy weight, and to keep your blood pressure, blood sugars, and cholesterol at healthy levels.
2 – Eat Healthy – Eat a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, healthy sources of proteins, and whole grains everyday. The fewer processed and fast-foods, the better.
3 – Quit Smoking and Vaping – One of the best things you can do to improve your heart health and add years to your life is to quit using any form of tobacco. Call 1-800-QUIT-NOW to talk to a trained professional who can help you quit for good.
4 – Get a Good Night’s Sleep– Getting 7-9 hours of sleep a night is just as important as regular exercise and a healthy diet. Good quality sleep helps your mood, memory, eating habits, your internal organs, and catching enough zzz lowers your risk of heart disease.
5 – Reach and Stay at a Healthy Weight. If you need help, talk to your doctor to lower your risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes.
6 – Manage Stress – Chronic stress is bad for your heart and health. So, learn how to identify when you’re stressed and how to relax your mind and body with exercise, meditation, being outdoors, and getting 7-9 hours of sleep.
7 – Control Your Blood Pressure – Work with your healthcare provider to develop a plan to monitor your blood pressure at home and to keep it in a healthy range by limiting salts, losing weight, eating healthy foods and more.
8 – Know Your Cholesterol Levels-ask your doctor about lifestyle changes you can make to to improve them. That’s because high levels of cholesterol can leave fatty deposits within your arteries and block the flow of blood and oxygen that your heart needs.
9 – Learn the Symptoms of a Heart Attack. Watch for discomfort and pressure in the center of the chest, the arms, neck, or stomach that lasts a few minutes or goes away and comes back. Cold sweats or nausea could be signs too, that its time to call 911.
10 – Eat More Healthy Fats. Eating foods rich in polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fat can lower your risk of heart disease and stroke and provide nutrients to help your body develop and maintain its cells. Fatty fish such as salmon, trout, or herring, or from flaxseed, kale, spinach, or walnuts are great sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Other sources of healthy fats include olive oil, avocados, soybeans, canola, and nuts.
11 – Focus on High-Fiber Food – A diet high in fiber can lower “bad” cholesterol and provide nutrients that help protect against heart disease. As an added bonus, it may also help you to lose weight. Since fiber stays in the stomach longer than other foods, the feeling of fullness will stay with you much longer, helping you to eat less.
12 – Steer Clear of Salt and Processed Foods – Eating a lot of salt can contribute to high blood pressure, which is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease. The American Heart Association recommends no more than a teaspoon of salt a day for an adult.
13 – Learn More about Blood Clots that start in a vein. When something changes in our lives that slows the flow of blood, like being on bedrest after an illness, cancer treatment, or surgery, our blood might clot deep in our veins and/or in our lungs. Ask your healthcare provider, if you’re at risk.
14 – Cook for Yourself instead of buying pre-made food. That gives you the control to add more vegetables, fruits, and lean meats and to use spices as delicious alternatives to salt. Try fresh herbs like basil, thyme, or chives or dry spices like bay leaves, or cumin to flavor your meal without sodium.
15 – Find Out if You Have Sleep Apnea. Are you snoring loudly or do you have episodes when you stop breathing or gasp in your sleep? Sleep apnea raises your risk of high blood pressure, stroke, and heart disease but using a face mask to gently force air into your breathing passages can reverse the damage caused by sleep apnea.
16 – Know Your Signs of a Stroke. Think about the letters in the word FAST. F for Face Drooping. Is it numb or drooping? Can they smile? A for Arm Weakness. Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward? S for Speech difficulty. Is their speed slurred or are they hard to understand? T for Time to call 911. If a person shows any of these symptoms, call 911 to get them to a hospital right away.
17 – Limit Saturated Fats – Saturated fats are mainly found in tropical oils, in dairy, and in red meat and should be limited to no more than 10% of your daily calorie intake. Enjoy dairy in moderation and vary the protein sources in your diet, opting for fish, skinless chicken, eggs, and vegetarian sources of protein where you can.
18 – Practice Gratitude. Writing down what you’re grateful for each day or telling your friends and family about an awesome moment can help your health. Gratitude habits can lower blood pressure and improve your immune functions.
19 – Learn How to Meditate or how to practice mindfulness. It can help you deal with stress, sleep better, feel more balanced, manage your high blood pressure and mindfulness can even lower your risk of heart disease.
20 – Too Tired to Exercise? Focus on hydrating by drinking water throughout the day, fight your fatigue by alternating sitting and standing during the day, snack on healthy carbs like vegetables, fruits, and whole grains, and make it a habit go right from work or school to your workout or activity, if you stop at home, you may be tempted to skip it.