There’s no more perfect time than Valentine’s Day to talk about hearts.
Your heart is your body’s star ‘athlete.’ It beats 115,000 times a day, resting only between beats, while pumping the equivalent of 2,000 gallons of blood throughout your body.
And like an athlete, your heart needs to stay fit to do its job. Keeping your heart healthy decreases the risks of heart disease—the number-one cause of death for men and women in the U.S.
Here are three tips for a heart-healthy lifestyle. Remember to talk to your doctor first before you begin.
Your heart is a muscle, and like any other muscle, exercise can help make it stronger. You’re never too old to start. Exercising just 30 minutes a day, four-to-five times a week can help control blood pressure and increase your heart’s pumping capacity, according to recent research.
Eat more fresh fruits and vegetables (7-9 servings of each per day), fish, poultry, nuts and whole grains. Cut down on red meats, processed carbs, sodium and high-cholesterol dairy-based products.
Obesity can lead to high cholesterol, high blood pressure and Type-2 diabetes. Losing just 10 pounds can help tip the scales in your favor. And the good news is that if you begin following the other two tips here, losing those extra pounds will be easy.
Healthy lifestyle changes can help prevent heart disease and may improve your condition if you have heart disease. If you suffer from a cardiac or cardiopulmonary condition, talk to your doctor about a treatment plan, and ask if physical or occupational therapy can help. Our Cardiac and Pulmonary Rehabilitation programs at Lutheran Life Villages are designed to help you control your symptoms and resume an active and productive life, within the limits of your condition.