Heart Healthy Living

Updated: Apr 22





Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the US, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, killing nearly 655,000 people per year (1)!

Heart health starts first, with understanding the risks, and second, with understanding what you can do. So, let’s dive in and step into a heart-healthy lifestyle!

Risk factors will be different for each person. Some are variable, like age, gender, and family history; others are not. Risk factors you can change include:

- High blood pressure

- High blood cholesterol

- Overweight or obesity

- Diabetes

- Smoking

- Not getting regular physical activity

- Unhealthy eating habits


The good news is that there are many simple things you can do within your day-to-day that will promote a positive change for these risk factors. The entire body is interconnected, so, as one area improves it will have positive effects on other areas. Let’s have a look at some of the things you can do to promote a heart-healthy lifestyle!


Self-care for heart health:

1. Manage stress

Research has shown that emotionally stressful events, specifically related to anger can trigger a heart attack or angina and can also contribute to high blood pressure (1). Practicing mindfulness exercises such as meditation, yoga or Qi Gong can be a powerful tool to manage stress and increase the quality of living (4). By taking moments out of your day to get in touch with your breath and disconnect from the crazy world around all of us – will decrease your sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight response) and trigger your parasympathetic nervous system (rest & digest response) to help relax your mind and body.

2. Heart Healthy foods

Getting an abundance of nourishing food, will nourish our organs and promote longevity. Cheap and easy foods have become so accessible within a click of a button and are delivered to your door within minutes. Fast food contributes to many chronic health problems including heart disease. We can prevent poor heart health and a wide array of chronic diseases by choosing healthy habits (2). There is some evidence that shows the Mediterranean-style diet reduces obesity, diabetes, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure – this can play a large role in preventing heart disease (3).

  • Check out some of these heart-healthy options!

  1. Organic Box - delivers organic produce directly to your door!

  2. HelloFresh - a meal delivery service for the recipes of your choosing.

  3. Healthier Take Out - try some local restaurants like The Moth, Cafe Mosaics, and KB &Co

  4. Healthy Food Blogs - Minimalist Baker, The Mediterranean Dish, Sprouted Kitchen, A Couple Cooks

3. Get Regular Physical Activity

Being physically active benefits the body and mind. It improves fitness, aids in weight loss, lowers stress, and improves mental health (1). Partaking in physical activities can also lower your chances of developing other health conditions such as type 2 diabetes, depression and cancer (1). Choose activities that bring you joy, being physically active does not have to be boring and mundane. It does not have to feel another chore to tick off your to-do list. Make it fun!


Enjoy the Canadian outdoors this February with:

Maybe you want to stay warm in the comfort of your own living room! Check out these free fitness apps!

  • Body By Blogilates

  • FitOn Workouts & Fitness Plans

  • Nike Training Club




References

  1. https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/heart-healthy-living

  2. https://www.trilliumcommunities.com/importance-healthy-heart/

  3. https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-eating/eat-smart/nutrition-basics/mediterranean-diet

  4. https://www.health.harvard.edu/press_releases/mindfulness_improves_quality_of_life

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