With 35 percent of Americans now termed medically obese, there has never been a better time to discover tips on how to improve your heart health. With our modern Westernized diet, a healthy cardiovascular system cannot be taken for granted. Lack of exercise, too much fatty processed food, and lack of fresh fruit, vegetables and oily fish can all take a toll on our heart.
As we age, the risk of heart attack, stroke, arrhythmia and other heart conditions become more apparent. The sole person in charge of YOUR heart health is YOU! Here are six effective ways to ensure a healthier heart. So run through our checklist and see where you can improve your heart health, starting today.
1. What’s in Your Kitchen?
Your refrigerator may be full of fresh fruit and vegetables, but what about your freezer? Ice cream, fast foods, sweet desserts and French fries are all lined up conveniently for an instant snack or quick meal after work. If you are serious about improving heart health you need to get rid of temptation and restock your kitchen with healthy meals and snacks. If you can’t throw the food away, have a party or BBQ or donate canned items to a food pantry. You’ll feel better once you have made this first important step!
2. Conscious Eating
Become more aware or what you’re eating and when you’re eating in order to assess ways for how to improve heart health. Snacking between meals out of habit, or eating TV meals without being aware of what you are putting in your mouth lead to a feeling of dissatisfaction, a sure way to crave snacks later. Be conscious of every bite and savor every mouthful.
3. Shopping Temptations
The only way to shop for your heart-healthy diet is to plan meals ahead. Once you become a meal planner, you can make a shopping list and buy only what you want without deviating off to the latest special offer or sinful treat.
4. Eat at Home
Eating out regularly means we relinquish control on ingredients and portion size to someone else – someone who is not interested in how to improve your heart health! Subscribe to a healthy living magazine such as Cooking Light or Healthy Living for inspiration or look for heart-healthy recipes online. Focus on easy-to-prepare meals to save on time and organize your grocery list (above) so all the ingredients are to hand. No excuses!
5. Smart Meal Options
If you do eat out occasionally, most restaurants mark healthy options on the menu so you can pick wisely and not return to unhealthy eating habits.
6. Get Active
There is no substitute for physical activity 4-5 times a week. Set aside time for walking, jogging, dancing, swimming, gardening, cycling or whatever you enjoy.
By adopting these six lifestyle rules you will discover new ways for how to improve heart health, resulting in a longer, healthier and more fulfilled life.