Here is a seven-day self-care plan that is sure to get you on the road to improving your heart health:
Healthy Eating for Your Heart
Everyone has heard that they need to eat healthier, but knowing what that actually means can be overwhelming and confusing. If your doctor has told you to lower your cholesterol to reduce your risk for heart disease, then ask the dieticians what type of food will work.
Get Your Blood Pressure Checked
Did you know that you can feel fine and still be suffering from high blood pressure, also known as the “silent killer”? For that reason, it is recommended that you have your blood pressure checked at least once per year. If you also grapple with “white coat syndrome” (an increase in blood pressure due to the presence of a doctor or other medical professional), it is reasonable to use at-home cuffs or grocery store cuffs to get an idea of what your numbers are. Make sure that you remain quiet and calm for several minutes before taking the reading. Knowing your blood pressure and working with your medical team can be life-saving.
Engage in High-Quality Sleep
Sleep disorders can have an impact on heart health; therefore, it is important to know the signs of a sleep disorder. Because you are unconscious when asleep, asking a family member or person with whom you live about your sleep behaviors is informative.
Weight Management and Maintenance
Managing your weight is much easier said than done; however, obesity greatly increases your risk of heart health difficulties. If you have tried dieting and exercising with no success, there is still hope. If you feel that you have exhausted all options, speak with a physician to discuss next steps.
Moderate Your Sugar Intake
Sugar intake is closely linked to inflammation and heart disease. If you have a sweet tooth, try to snag a fruit instead of a treat. Moderating your refined sugar intake will help keep your heart healthy, keep your weight down and get you feeling more energized throughout your day.
Quit Smoking and Avoid Smoke
Smoking and regularly coming into contact with cigarette smoke is detrimental to your overall health and especially to your heart health. Did you know that when you quit smoking you begin to experience health benefits within just half an hour?
Be Active for 30 Minutes or More
If lifting weights at a gym sounds intimidating, fear not. You can improve your heart health by focusing on increasing your physical activity by at least 30 minutes per day. Some ideas include dancing, swimming, walking and anything else that gets your body moving.
Courtesy: Washington University Physician