Healthy Habits for a Healthier Heart

Heart disease is the number one killer of men and women in the United States. It’s also one of the most preventable diseases. By making certain changes in your health habits, you can help to prevent death from heart attack and stroke. There are plenty of ways to incorporate heart-healthy habits into your lifestyle.

Stop Smoking

One of the most important things you can do for your heart, and your overall health, is to quit smoking. If you smoke, stop now, and know that it is never too late to quit. And do everything you can to avoid exposure to secondhand smoke. If you find you need help quitting, consider a smoking cessation program.

Exercise Regularly

Make exercise a priority. Regular exercise can help lower your risk of cardiovascular disease, even if you are overweight. If you don’t have time for a full body workout, consider walking. Try to get in at least 30 minutes of brisk walking for at least five days each week.

Watch Your Weight, Eat Healthy Fats

An expanding waistline can be an indicator of heart health. Watch your weight, and if you’re overweight, try to eat healthier and lose those extra pounds. In terms of eating, limit the amount of saturated fats and salt in your diet, and try to increase the amount of “healthy” fats you eat. Also, try to get more heart-healthy, plant-based foods, like leafy greens, on your plate.

Get Regular Health Checkups

If you’re concerned about heart health, talk to your doctor. He can help you come up with a suitable plan to lower your risk of heart disease.

Manage Stress 

Everyone experiences a certain amount of stress, but if you find you’re stressed out more often than not, do what you can to relax. Regular exercise, including yoga, may help lower stress levels. Additionally, consider learning some relaxation techniques, like meditation. Stress is unavoidable, but it’s how you handle that stress that’s key.

A Healthier Heart, A Healthier You

Your heart works hard for you, and you should work hard for it, too. Make this year the year you strive to improve your heart health. By eating healthier, exercising, quitting smoking, managing stress, and having regular health screenings and checkups, you can live a longer, healthier life.

For more information about heart services and programs available at Thibodaux Regional Medical Center, call 985.493.4326.