Heart Health and Lifestyle Changes

Heart disease is still the #1 cause of death in the U.S. according to the CDC. Heart disease refers to several types of heart conditions, with the most common being coronary artery disease. This ultimately affects the blood flow to the heart, which can lead to a heart attack. 

The biggest risk factors involved in heart disease are high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, smoking, and sedentary lifestyle (aka sitting is the “new” smoking). 

Lifestyle choices can help your heart health. Making changes can dramatically reduce your chance of heart disease. Positive lifestyle changes include:

  • Don’t Smoke or Vape: Call 1-800-QUIT-NOW to get help from trained professionals who can help you quit for good.
  • Eat Healthy: Choose nutrient-rich foods, including green leafy vegetables, whole grains, berries, avocados, fatty-fish & fish oil, nuts & seeds, beans, dark chocolate, tomatoes, and green tea.
  • Exercise: A good starting goal is at least 150 minutes a week (e.g., about 30min on most days of the week).
  • Manage Stress: Get 7-9 hours of sleep, move more, connect with family/friends, and breathe. You may also consider the CALM app.
  • Limit Alcohol: Limit your alcohol consumption to no more than one-two drinks and no more than 3-6 drinks over the course of a typical week.

References:

https://www.cdc.gov/heartdisease/about.htm

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/heart-healthy-foods#TOC_TITLE_HDR_8

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