Heart Health Tips

By: Ashmar Mandou

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - HealthFebruary is American Heart Month, a time for everyone to focus on their heart health since heart disease is the leading cause of deaths in America, taking the lives of over 2,000 people each day. According to the Center for Disease Control, over 100 million adults have high blood pressure and 6.5 million are living with heart failure. Fortunately, there are tips everyone can implement into their daily routine to ward off cardiovascular related diseases from eating healthy to remaining active.

Maintain a healthy weight.
Like your checkbook, your weight is a matter of deposits and withdrawals. You need to exercise regularly and lower portion sizes and calorie intake at meals to lose weight or maintain a healthy size. Simply put, to lose weight you must burn more calories than you consume.

Eat a nutritious diet.
Healthy and fresh food choices — such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains and legumes — lower your risk of obesity, heart disease and diabetes, as well as make you feel better than when you eat processed and junk food. Learn about key elements of a heart-healthy diet.

Avoid tobacco.
If you currently smoke, chew tobacco, vape, or use other tobacco products, quit right away — your health care team can help. If you don’t smoke now, keep it that way.

Drink alcohol in moderation, if at all.
Heavy alcohol use is detrimental to your heart health. Although some research indicates moderate consumption of certain alcoholic beverages may have positive health effects, limiting your intake to a maximum of one drink per day or abstaining from alcohol altogether is best.

Be active.
Try to do aerobic exercise for at least 20 to 30 minutes a day, three to five times per week. Work your way up to 150 minutes of cardio each week. Get your heart rate up by a simple activity like walking at a brisk pace. Your daily movement doesn’t need to be overly strenuous.

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