7 Simple Habits For A Happy Healthy Heart

A big heart is a good thing, right? Well sure if it has grown from love, like a certain green colored character that dresses up his dog like a reindeer (Thank you Dr. Seuss), but not it if it is enlarged due to illness.  The American Heart Association (AHA) has noted seven habits that contribute to a healthy heart. Practice a couple and you are doing your heart some good, follow all seven now you’re REALLY serving your heart and self well.

Full disclosure moment, this is a personal issue for me. One part of my family has a history of heart problems.  Including, my beloved Pops discovering an artery so blocked it created it’s own bypass- THAT is not supposed to happen. Pops had what was described by one of my Southern friends as “a come to Jesus moment.” So I take these recommended habits to heart (I love a pun) and so does Pops now, and the benefits are real and lasting.

7 Happy Healthy Heart Tips

  1. Get Moving. You have heard this before moderate exercise, 30 minutes a day, helps to reduce the risk of heart disease by promoting lower blood pressure, increasing good cholesterol, and helps to control your weight and blood sugar. So take a walk, Take the stairs, try a Zumba Fitness™ class, break out the Wii fitness™ gear, bike around the park… find something that works for you.
  2. Manage Your Blood Pressure. High blood pressure or hypertension is the most significant factor for heart disease. Optimal blood pressure is less than 120/80.  Hypertension can almost always be prevented, which can be done by Maintain a healthy weight, being physically active, following a healthy eating plan, eat foods with less sodium (salt), drink alcohol only in moderation, Take prescribed drugs as directed. For more information on managing your blood pressure go here…
  3. Control Your Cholesterol Levels. There are two types of cholesterol, “good” (HDL) and “bad” (LDL). We are talking about keeping your LDL down, too much LDL cholesterol circulating in the your system it can slowly build up in the inner walls of the arteries that feed the heart and brain. Marry this with some other substances plaque can form, narrowing your arteries and make them less flexible. This condition is known as atherosclerosis.  If a clot forms and blocks a narrowed artery, heart attack or stroke can result, lucky for Pops that did not happen. Here is an AHA article on controlling your cholesterol…
  4. Eat Better. You are what you eat and yes “healthy” food can taste great. Vegetables, fruits, whole grains, low or fat free dairy products all pack powerful nutritional punches without socking it to you with calories galore. Aim to increase your intake of these foods while decreasing your intake of highly processed, high-fat, high salt foods- I am looking at your cheese fries. For helpful tips to rid yourself of addiction to unhealthy foods, from Southern Remedy on MPB Think Radio read on…
  5. Lose Weight. Being overweight and obesity are risk factors for heart disease.  One way to measure healthy weight is by your body mass index (BMI). If it is 25 or higher, its time to lose some weight. To find your body mass index visit here.  For helpful tips to motivate and energize your weight loss plan, check out the Southern Remedy 10 steps to healthy weight program.
  6. Reduce Your Blood Sugar. This does not mean you can never eat a slice of lemon icebox pie, but it does mean not eating it too often. Adults with diabetes are more like than those without to have heart disease. If your blood sugar is above 100 mg/dL, you’ll want to follow the advice of your heal care provider. For helpful tips to rid yourself of addiction to unhealthy foods, from Southern Remedy on MPB Think Radio just a click away…
  7. Stop Smoking. Smoking increases you risk of heart disease, especially if you have other risk factors, or take certain medications. For tips on or help to stopping smoking read on…

The American Heart Association has a handy online tool, My Life Checkthat can help you see how you are doing with these 7 simple habits.

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