February is coming to an end and it’s time to round up on our heart-healthy blogs. I hope you have
learned a lot, especially on a heart-healthy diet. Now for this last one I want to summarize by putting all
the different lifestyle factors together that can help ensure a healthy heart. Yes, diet is a HUGE part of
protecting your heart health, but there are also other things that are essential in reducing your risk for
heart disease and mitigating its impacts.
- Have regular checkups, at least annually, but confirm with your doctor. This will allow you to
be more aware of any risk factors you have such as weight, high lipids, blood pressure, etc. The
sooner you know these issues the sooner you can work to treat them.
- If you are told to take meds, take them. Medication is there for a reason and is part of a holistic
approach to health and wellness. We must control our blood pressure and cholesterol levels in
order to take care of our heart and reduce our risk of heart disease or heart-related event such
as a heart attack. Always listen to your doctor, after all, they are the expert.
- Quit smoking. Smoking raises your risk of developing heart disease by 2-4 times. It causes
plaque buildup and hardened arteries.
- Minimize stress. This can really put added strain on the heart and increases one’s risk for
developing heart disease. A good way to deal with stress is to exercise or see a therapist for
more in-depth information and personalized coping skills.
- Lead an active lifestyle. Move your body. Whether that means participating in a workout class,
getting a trainer, or taking daily walks. This helps to reduce stress and help manage weight and
keep our heart healthy. Sit less and move more.
- If you have Diabetes, ensure that you are doing all you can do to manage it. Did you know if
you have diabetes you are at a higher risk for developing heart disease? More than 65% of
people with diabetes die from heart disease or stroke.
- Maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight is a risk factor for having high cholesterol and high
blood pressure which can lead to heart disease. Practising a heart-healthy diet and an active
lifestyle can help manage one’s weight.
There you have it, a full month of blogs to help you take care of your heart and reduce your risk for
heart disease and help treat it. Be sure to refer back to any of the blogs throughout this month-
especially the last two, that discuss the heart-healthy diet in depth.
Cheers to healthy hearts!