Would you like to adopt more heart-healthy habits? These tips may help decrease the risk of heart-related illnesses, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes.
- Make small changes to your dietary habits. If you struggle to eat well, try adding one new, healthy item into your diet at a time. The ultimate goal? A daily intake of five servings of fruits and vegetables, at least three servings of whole grains, and an emphasis on lean meats such as chicken or fish.
- Find an exercise program that works for you. Staying active is key to maintaining health. Focus on regularly engaging in activities that keep you moving, burn calories, and manage weight. Aim for 30 minutes of moderate activity five days a week (or a total of 150 minutes of activity per week). Keep in mind that even ten minutes of exercise at a time is beneficial.
- Engage in good sleep hygiene. Sleep is often the forgotten ingredient in heart health. Aim for seven to nine hours of sleep a night. Sleep in a quiet, darkened room. Going to bed and getting up at the same time, even on weekends, may also improve the quality of your sleep.
- Cut back on unhealthy habits. One of the best ways to create a healthy behavior is to cut back on (or quit) an unhealthy one. Consider decreasing how much you:
– Drink alcohol
– Eat fried or processed foods
Healthy habits benefit more than your heart. They may also reduce your risks of many forms of cancer and strengthen the body’s ability to fight viral infections such as the flu or COVID-19. In addition, feeling better physically may improve mood and benefit your mental health.