Our hearts do so much for us. They count on us to take good care of them. Our quality of life and length of life depend on a well-functioning heart. But we often take them for granted.
Research shows you can lower your risk of heart disease. The American Heart Association shares Life’s Essential 8 to help us lower our risk. Read on for good ways to take care of your heart:
- Eat Better: Make smart choices in what you’re eating to create a healthy eating style. Read the nutrition labels. Watch how much you put on your plate. Be sure to include fruits and vegetables.
- Be More Active: Adults should get at least 150 minutes of moderate activity a week. Kids should get at least 60 minutes every day. Find something you enjoy and do it regularly. Make it a habit.
- Quit Tobacco: Less than a year after quitting, your risk of getting heart disease goes down by half. Make a plan for quitting. Think about how you will handle cravings before they come.
- Get Healthy Sleep: Adults should get an average of 7-9 hours of sleep every night. Put down your phone and turn on “do not disturb” well before going to bed.
- Manage Weight: Keep track of how much you are putting into your body. Your activity effects whether what you put in your body is being used or stored. Stay active. Control what you eat and your portion sizes.
- Control Cholesterol: Cholesterol comes from both the food you eat and your body. Not all cholesterol is bad but too much can cause risks. Talk to a healthcare professional about measuring your cholesterol. They can help you understand if you are at a healthy level.
- Manage Blood Sugar: Know what your blood sugar level is and if it is in a healthy range. There are several ways to test. Contact your doctor for advice.
- Manage Blood Pressure: A medical professional must confirm high or low blood pressure. Blood pressure is written as two numbers. The top number measures the pressure when the heart beats. This should be lower than 120. The bottom number is the pressure when the heart is resting in between beats. This should be lower than 80.
The first Friday in February is celebrated as National Wear Red Day. This is to raise awareness for heart disease. Join us in wearing red on February 3rd!
For more information and to check your heart score, visit: https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-lifestyle/lifes-essential-8
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