By: Healthworks Fitness & Wellness
Heart disease is the number one killer of Americans, but there are ways to prevent it or slow its progress — including eating a healthier diet, exercising, and reducing stress. February is American Heart Month, Healthworks Fitness and Wellness would like to raise awareness about the important issue of heart health.
Preventing heart disease means making smart choices now that will pay off the rest of your life. Lack of exercise, a poor diet and other bad habits can take their toll over the years. Anyone at any age can benefit from simple steps to keep their heart healthy during each decade of life.
Here are some simple steps that are keys to a health heart:
- Choose a healthy eating plan. The food you eat can decrease your risk of heart disease and stroke. Choose foods low in saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol, sodium and added sugars and sweeteners. As part of a healthy diet, eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, fiber-rich whole grains, fish (preferably oily fish — at least twice per week), nuts, legumes and seeds. Limit sugar-sweetened beverages. Check with a nutritionist about a healthy eating plan for you.
- Be physically active. You can slowly work up to at least 2½ hours (150 minutes) of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity (like brisk walking) every week or an hour and 15 minutes (75 minutes) of vigorous intensity aerobic physical activity (such as jogging or running) or a combination of both every week. Additionally, on two or more days a week you need muscle-strengthening activities that work all major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest shoulders and arms). Everyone is different, check with a personal trainer or your primary care provider about what activity plan will work best for you.
- Don’t smoke. If you smoke, make an effort to quit. Talk with your doctor about programs and products that can help you quit smoking. Also, try to avoid secondhand smoke.
- Treat and control any conditions that can cause heart disease. Take medicines as your doctor prescribes. See your doctor for preventative care and screenings.
Healthworks Fitness and Wellness is here to help you with your fitness goals. We have a wide variety of equipment, a pool, trainers and staff ready and able to assist you. Remember, your heart health is important. Any way we can assist you in keeping your heart healthy, we are here for you.