February is American Heart Month, a time to focus on our cardiovascular health.The health of your heart is more important than ever this year. Not only is heart disease a leading cause of death in the United Sates, but people suffering from cardiovascular conditions are also at an increased risk of suffering severe illness from COVID-19. But here’s the good news: there are some simple lifestyle choices you can make that will help you build a stronger, healthier heart and drastically reduce your risk of heart disease. Here are 5 ways you can build a heart-healthy lifestyle:
A heart-healthy diet should contain a food from all the basic food groups: vegetables, fruits, whole grains, dairy and meat. If you’re a vegetarian, nuts, legumes and soy products are great alternative source of protein.Foods rich in monosaturated and polysaturated fans have been proven to improve blood cholesterol levels. This includes things like:
- Salmon and trout
- Nuts, such as walnuts, almonds, and pine nuts
- Seeds, such as sesame, sunflower, and flax
3. Weight Management
It’s important to remember that weight management is not the same thing as weight loss. Obesity puts you at a significantly higher risk for heart disease, as well as other conditions like type 2 diabetes, gallstones, and certain cancers—but being underweight comes with its own set of heart health risks.The best way to determine if you’re at a healthy weight is by measuring your BMI (Body Mass Index). For the average adult, a healthy heart comes with a BMI between 18.5 and 24.9. If you’re looking for help managing your weight, smart scales like KoreScale can measure your BMI automatically, and have the added benefit of breaking your weight down into muscle, fat, bone, and water. These measurements can be extremely helpful in making adjustments to your diet and exercise routine.
4. Health Monitoring
Your body will give off warning signs when your heart is at risk. If you feel a sudden pain in your chest, lightheadedness, or shortness of breath, you should seek medical attention immediately.
However, there are some factors that don’t have obvious symptoms, which is why it’s important to monitor your body’s vital signs regularly, even if you feel fine. In particular,
5. Quality Sleep
Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day Keep your sleeping area and living space separate Try not to use your phone or watch TV late at night Avoid heavy meals or alcohol right before bed