Keep Your Heart Healthy
Your heart works for you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. It is important to care for your heart and make changes in your habits to support your heart’s health, even if you just take it one step at a time. Here are a few things you can do for better heart health:
If your blood pressure is too high, it can damage artery walls and create scar tissue, making it more difficult for blood and oxygen to travel to and from your heart. This requires the heart to pump harder, so it gets worn out faster. Maintain a normal blood pressure by cutting back on salt, eating healthy foods, limiting your alcohol intake, and exercising. You should get your blood pressure checked every 3-5 years if you are ages 18-39. If you are 40 or older, or have high blood pressure, get it checked every year.
Avoid Trans Fats
Trans fats are industry-produced fats that are typically found in fried fast foods, margarines, snack foods, and packaged baked goods. They clog your arteries, raising the bad cholesterol levels (LDL) and lowering the good cholesterol levels (HDL). Trans fats are known to increase the risk of developing heart disease or having a stroke. Look out for “hydrogenated” or “partially hydrogenated” on ingredients lists and avoid those products.
Your heart works best when it is running on a clean diet. That means more whole, plant-based foods, such as fruits, vegetables, and nuts, and less refined or processed foods, like pasta, crackers, white bread, and cookies. Try to eliminate sugary beverages from your diet, like sodas and fruit juices.
Try to be active for at least 30 minutes per day, 5 days a week, doing any type of activity that makes you break a slight sweat. Also, be mindful of how much time you spend being sedentary. This includes the time spent seated at a desk, in the car, or on the couch at home. Try to break up long periods of sitting by using a standing work station or walking around when you talk on the phone or watch tv.
Smoking and secondhand smoke are both bad for your heart. If you are a smoker, it’s time to quit. If you are a nonsmoker, try to avoid spending time around others who smoke. Nonsmokers who have high blood pressure or high blood cholesterol have a greater risk of developing heart disease when exposed to secondhand smoke.
Greenville Health Care
Greenville Health Care is a Family Practice and walk-in Medical Clinic dedicated to serving the citizens of Greenville and surrounding counties with excellent, timely, and compassionate patient care. Contact us today!