Be Good To Your Heart

Here’s something that will make your heart stop! A woman dies from cardiovascular disease approximately every minute in the United States. Now, that is one amazing statistic. If that fact alone doesn’t grab your attention I’m not sure what will. It’s time to take the battle against heart disease personally.

You hear from doctors, all the time, that you have to make changes in your lifestyle. Yet few of us actually do anything to really change that potential heart attack in our future. When doctors tell us to modify our behavior and we all think “how can I do that?” It’s just too much to think about.

Changing life long habits can be truly overwhelming; so we keep putting off change. It seems too daunting. The key to making heart healthy changes is to think small. Little changes over time can have a big effect. Make these little changes now! Change your viewpoint from the future to the present. Now is the time to make small changes in your daily routine for big long term results. Success will result from taking many tiny but all-important steps throughout your day resulting in spectacular changes for the better.

Here are some suggestions that can take you through each day to a healthier and happier heart future:

7AM: Rise early and relax. Short morning meditations have proven to be beneficial to more than just your soul. The American Journal of Hypertension reports that transcendental meditation can lower systolic blood pressure by nearly 5 points. That may not sound like a lot but lowering systolic BP by just 3 points can reduce the risk of dying from heart disease by 5 percent. Om

7:30AM: Stretch it out. Recent research shows us that yoga is a powerful tool to use for a healthy heart. In 2014 results from over 40 studies combined to reveal that regular yoga practice can lower cholesterol levels by more than 18 points.

8AM: Take C to breakfast. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found in a 2015 study people who consume large amounts of fruits and vegetables loaded with the antioxidant vitamin C have a 13 percent lower risk of developing heart disease. This information should make that morning OJ taste even better.
10AM: Make a date with D. Studies have indicated that vitamin D deficiency is a potential risk factor for heart disease. Blood researchers believe that we should have a level of 15 points in our blood system to be in the safe zone. Your doctor can have a simple blood test taken to determine the levels of D in your system. Make sure you are getting enough Vitamin D by taking a daily supplement.

12PM: Lunch is the time to load up on whole grains. You already know that food loaded with saturated fats is bad for you. What you eat in their place is more important than ever. Highly processed foods made up of refined carbs are equally bad. Stop eating processed food loaded with preservatives and additives. Shop the perimeters of your grocery store. Think fresh! Use unsaturated fats like coconut oil or olive oil and whole grains to have the most impact on reducing your risk of cardiovascular disease according to a study in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

3PM: Reach for the nuts at snack time. While all nuts are not equally beneficial, almonds have proven to be a stand out snack for heart health. A study recently found that two study groups using identical cholesterol-lowering diets differed in one respect. One group was given a 1.5 oz. serving of almonds as a daily snack. The group eating almonds were able to lower their bad (LDL) cholesterol by 5 points more than the base group in just six weeks. Pass the almonds, please.

6PM: Time to work up a little sweat. A study in “Circulation” found that women who participated in strenuous activities two to three time weekly were about 20 percent less likely to develop heart disease, strokes or blood clots than women who didn’t engage in regular physical activity. Strenuous activities are those that actually make you break a sweat or quicken your heart beat. Here’s the good news: Gardening and walking are just as effective as running or bicycling.

7PM: Take a trip to the Mediterranean for dinner. Adults who regularly followed a Mediterranean style diet were a gigantic 41 percent less apt to develop heart disease over a 10-year period than those who did not. What’s in a classic Mediterranean dinner? Think fatty fish like salmon cooked in olive oil and topped with colorful veggies with a glass of red wine. Sounds good to me.

11PM: Sleep for a healthier you. Adults who rested for five or fewer hours nightly had 50 percent more calcium in their coronary arteries than those who slept 7 hours or more nightly according to recent sleep studies. How well you sleep is just as important as how long you sleep. People who tend to sleep poorly had around 20 percent more calcium in their arteries than folks who woke up feeling rested. Time to invest in a better pillow. Enjoy those dreams!

It's the little things done every day that will have the greatest impact on our well-being. Go ahead! There is no downside with this one.

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