Eating right, exercising regularly, and reducing stress are all ways to improve your heart health. Read on to learn about the 10 little changes for a healthy heart…
1. Eat fruit for a snack (or vegetables).
Nutrient-rich, heart-healthy fruits and vegetables improve your overall health. They are high in vitamins, minerals, and fiber and low in fat and calories. Stay away from canned fruits and vegetables because there is often added sodium or sugar.
2. Eat fish two times per week.
How does eating fish help your heart? Fish contains omega-3 fatty acids that can reduce inflammation throughout the body. Inflammation can damage blood vessels and lead to heart disease and stroke.
3. Avocado oil instead of butter or olive oil.
Avocado oil is a natural oil pressed from the pulp of an avocado. It’s full of oleic acid (a very healthy fat), reduces cholesterol, high in lutein (an antioxidant for the eyes), and enhances the absorption of nutrients.
4. Put away the salt shaker.
Salt isn’t essential to the flavor of your food, as most foods already contain a high amount of sodium. High levels of salt in the body increase blood pressure, which then leads to an increased risk of heart attacks, stroke, and kidney problems over time. It’s recommended to get no more than 1500mg of sodium per day.
5. Eat oatmeal for breakfast.
Oats are high in soluble fiber and help you feel full longer after breakfast. Add fruits, nuts, and seeds to your oats to pack it with more nutrients. Don’t like waking up early to make breakfast? Overnight Oats are perfect for you.
6. Say no to (most) desserts.
Not all sweets and treats have to be off-limits, but you must choose carefully. Avoid desserts with high-fat content and crazy amounts of sugar. We have 21 Healthy Dessert options if you’re not sure what to make.
7. Exercise 75 to 150 minutes a week.
All this time doesn’t have to be spent in the gym. Exercise is anything that makes you move your body and burns calories. Physical activity is vital to preventing heart disease and stroke. Start with a walking program – they’re flexible and easy to stick with.
8. Sit quietly for 15 minutes each day.
A little bit of quiet time helps recharge your physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being. All the external noises in your life are harming your peace and health. Giving yourself a chance to reflect instead of react can reduce stress and help you make healthier decisions.
9. Park at the end of the parking lot.
This is a simple way to add a little bit of exercise to your daily routine. You avoid circling the parking lot for 15 minutes and burn some calories. The government recommends 10,000 steps a day, so along with this tip, you can add: take the stairs instead of the elevator and walk during your lunch.
10. Cut the stress.
Stress can increase heart disease risk by increasing blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Your body remains in high gear when it’s stressed – zapping your energy, ruining your sleep, and causing headaches or back strain. Read our post on 25 Ways To Relieve Stress.