TIP 1: MAINTAIN A HEALTHY, WELL-BALANCED DIET
When you make seasonal vegetables and fruits, whole grains, and fish, lean meats, and poultry mealtime staples, your heart will be healthier for it. Use healthy oils like olive and canola oil for cooking and on salad, instead of using butter and salt. Avoiding excessive sweets as well as fatty and fried foods is a must.
“We also encourage you to read labels at the grocery store. Look for ground beef that is 96 percent fat-free, lean chicken, and fish. Although pricier, the extra money spent is worth your heart health. You should limit how much red meat you consume no matter how low in fat.”
TIP 2: BE ACTIVE
Being active is essential to preventing heart disease. The suggested activity level is at least 150 minutes per week of moderate exercise or 75 minutes per week of vigorous exercise.
For those who haven’t exercised in a while, walking is highly recommended. A slow start with up to 30-minutes at a moderate pace daily will be an ideal start to get into a healthy exercise routine.
TIP 3: QUIT SMOKING
Smokers have a higher risk of developing many chronic disorders, including atherosclerosis — the buildup of fatty substances in the arteries — which can lead to coronary heart disease and stroke. Everyone seems to know the risks, but quitting isn’t easy. Our doctors are there to support you, why not make that decision today to quit?
TIP 4: HAVE YOUR BLOOD PRESSURE CHECKED REGULARLY
Uncontrolled high blood pressure is sometimes called “the silent killer” because it has no symptoms, but it can damage your arteries, heart, and other organs. When you have blood pressure that is higher than 140/90 mm, you may find yourself under the care of a cardiologist.
TIP 5: MONITOR YOUR CHOLESTEROL
When you have too much LDL or “bad” cholesterol circulating in your blood, it can slowly build up in the inner walls of the arteries that feed the heart and brain. It can eventually form a plaque that narrows the arteries.
Start by eating a heart-healthy diet, exercising, and avoiding tobacco smoke to help lower bad cholesterol. A diet that is filled with vegetables, whole grains, fruits, low-fat dairy products, fish, poultry, and nuts is the route to go.
TIP 6: MAINTAIN A HEALTHY WEIGHT
Your body mass index or BMI is a strong indicator of a healthy weight. If your BMI is higher than 25 (normal weight), you’re considered overweight or obese. Excess weight puts additional work on the heart, and can also raise blood pressure and cholesterol.
Modifying your diet by eliminating sugary drinks and sodas or chips and incorporating 30 minutes of exercise per day are all building blocks towards a healthier heart.
TIP 7: LIGHTEN YOUR LOAD
Stress can be a trigger for many people, which can increase your blood pressure and lead to other unhealthy habits, such as smoking, difficulty sleeping and overeating. Making mindfulness a part of your daily routine as well as activities to help you relax will help you actively reduce your stress and anxiety. Simple practices like deep breathing exercises every hour, intentional meditation sessions, yoga, curling up with a book, practicing hobbies are all ideas that will support your stress relief.
HOW CAN WE HELP?
Book an appointment with our General Practitioner at German Heart Centre to review your current physical state and numbers. A simple visit can give you that extra insight in taking care of your health and truly loving the one organ that deserves your best attention.