5 Tips for Heart Health in National Heart Month
Our hearts are one of the most important organs in our body that is constantly working. Despite how much our hearts work, we don’t often think about our heart health until something happens. As part of National Heart Month this February, we would like to share five tips that anyone can use to promote better heart health.
We’ve all heard it before, but there’s a reason cardio is named after the cardiovascular system. Taking part in daily cardio activities can help anyone, no matter their age. There are cardio options for everyone. Whether it be walking, bicycling, swimming, or dancing, there are plenty of options to choose from. Experts typically will recommend 30 minutes of daily exercise. If you’re a beginner, it’s ok to start slow and gradually build up to 30 minutes. The most important thing is making an effort for better heart health.
Watch Your Diet
Another tip we’ve all probably heard before when thinking about ways to keep a healthy heart is watching our diet, and that’s because of how important it is. What we eat powers our bodies in the same way gas powers a car. If we put the wrong kind of gas in the tank, it can damage the engine. Salts, sugars, and fats are typically the biggest culprits for hurting heart health. It can often be confusing to figure out which foods are good or bad for us, but the American Heart Association has been taking steps to make choosing healthier options easier through education.
Get Enough Sleep
Sleep plays a key role in many of our daily lives, including the health of our hearts. With how busy our days can get, getting the recommended amount of sleep every night is important. Not getting enough sleep has been linked to several conditions, including high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and obesity. Each of these conditions can also play a role in the overall health of someone’s heart.
It’s natural and not necessarily bad to feel stress throughout life. Stress can often spur us into action or make sure that we are working hard at something. It becomes a problem, though, when this stress overwhelms us. Stress can be a catalyst to a series of health issues if we don’t learn to manage it well. Managing stress starts with identifying the sources of stress in your life and then taking action on them. Whether it be avoiding, altering, adapting, or accepting those stressors making even small changes can play a significant role in your overall health.
Kick Unhealthy Habits
When it comes to heart health, there are a few habits that can be really damaging. Smoking, vaping, and drinking alcohol have all been linked to multiple health conditions, including being dangerous to the heart. Although these habits might offer a temporary good feeling, the long-term effects can permanently the body. Quitting these habits can often be difficult, but with support and resources, it isn’t impossible.
At the YMCA, our mission is to support our community and encourage healthy living. For National Heart Month, we want to encourage our community to achieve new goals and live their best life while benefiting their heart health. At the Y, we offer various classes to get your heart pumping and resources to help with your everyday lifestyle.