Learn how to love your heart
Updated: March 1, 2013 6:58AM
Loving your heart is the key to maintaining harmony throughout the whole of your body.
As one of the most vital organs, the entire body depends on the smooth functioning of a healthy heart.
Here are some tips to start you on a journey towards heart-healthy living:
Know your risk: There are many risk factors that contribute to heart disease. Some risks, like having a family history of heart disease, are uncontrollable. However many risks factors, such as smoking, uncontrolled diabetes, hypertension and hyperlipidemia, can be reduced by making simple lifestyle changes.
Adopt a heart-healthy diet: Choosing to feed your heart well is one of the best ways to maintain a healthy heart and reduce cardiovascular risks.
“Fill your diet full of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, and fish to ensure your body gets the nutrients necessary for a healthy heart,” said Dr. Daniel Sullivan, cardiologist and medical staff president at Elmhurst Memorial Healthcare. “Aim to eat foods that are high in fiber and low in fat and cholesterol content and limit the amount of processed foods to help keep your heart healthy and reduce your risk.”
Be active with your heart’s health: Our bodies are meant to be in motion, so it makes sense that staying active is one of the best ways to strengthen the cardiovascular system. Regular exercise improves overall body health and can create a stronger heart.
All forms of exercise can be valuable to your health, but aerobic exercise is most beneficial for cardiovascular strength. It is always important to check with your doctor before changing or starting a new exercise routine.
Take advantage of your resources: Choose to take a proactive role in your health by using available resources to educate yourself on cardiovascular health and determine your risk for heart disease.
Smoking is most preventable risk factor. Smoking not only greatly increases a person’s risk for heart disease but also increases the risk for anyone who lives with a smoker. ~.
Shauna Schuda wrote this column for Elmhurst Memorial Healthcare.