Some members of my family have had of heart-related issues over the years. This is partly because so little was understood about the effects of poor diet and bad habits in past years; but that has changed now. My parents educated me on the importance of maintaining a heart healthy lifestyle and I try to follow their lead.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a heart health fanatic; far from it. However, I do work on maintaining a healthy body and mind.
I don’t smoke. By never smoking, I have reduced my chances of having a heart attack by 70%.
If you smoke, then stop smoking now. Just twelve months after you stop smoking, you can cut your chances of having a heart attack in half. That’s a great return on any investment.
Good eating habits. I enjoy burgers, steaks, spaghetti, enchiladas, and the Texas Lumberjack breakfast; but not every day, or for every meal. I eat smaller portions of these foods and if I have a burger at lunch, then I try to have a salad or sushi that evening to balance my daily intake.
For snacks I eat try to eat fruit instead candy bars, vegetables in place of potatoes and nuts & seeds over chips.
I also eat fish on a regular basis with tuna & salmon sushi among my favorites. Both are great for your health. I think fried fish is delicious; but it’s not a healthy fish meal; so eat it in moderation only.
I avoid salt whenever possible. I don’t add salt to my meals and I even try to limit my salt when eating out. Did you know you can ask for fries without salt and that most places will make a special order for you? This not only reduces your salt intake, but has the added benefit of getting you very fresh & hot fries. Yum!
Drink lots of water, avoid sodas (regular and diet) and limit your alcohol intake.
Exercise regularly. I’m into full-blown workouts where I push my body and mind to their limits. It’s great for me, but not for everyone. If you can just walk quickly for 30 minutes a day, you can cut your risk of heart attack by a third. Try to use the stairs instead of the elevator, walk the dog around the block or try taking a brisk walk to the mail box instead of just driving there.
Find something that’s fun for you and make time in your life to do it. For social interaction and good fun I like yoga, cycling and aerobics classes. You get to exercise in a fun way and you can often make new friends.
Reduce your stress levels. Be as calm as possible in your life and work toward reducing the stress in your life. Having friends and family that support you and listen to your problems is a big help. I have someone that makes me smile and laugh and this is great for reducing stress and maintaining a healthy heart.
Small changes in your lifestyle can pay big divides in your overall health; so get out there, be active and have some fun!