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Becoming Heart Healthy: Seven Simple Changes

Every year over 610,000 individuals die of heart disease in the United States. By making a few simple choices, you can not only decrease your risk of heart disease but feel better and healthier!

The American Heart Association lists seven factors that can keep your heart healthy, known as Life’s Simple 7®. Each of the seven points can help lower your risk for high blood pressure or high cholesterol, which then, in turn, reduces your risks for heart disease and stroke. Most importantly, the Life’s Simple 7® can improve the overall quality of life.

1. Lose Weight / Maintain Healthy Weight – When you shed the extra pounds, you reduce the stress put on your organs. When getting active to lose the weight, it can also assist with lowering blood pressure, stress levels, and result in a mood boost.

2. Eat Better – Making small changes to eat a healthier diet is one of the best choices when trying to fight off cardiac diseases. A heart-healthy diet of colorful fruits and veggies (berries, leafy greens, carrots, tomatoes, etc.) can help add essential nutrients to the body.

3. Get Active – Take at least 15 minutes a day to get active, going for a walk or doing a quick cardio circuit at home can help you not only lose weight and it benefits (the physical self), quality of life, and life expectancy.

4. Manage Blood Pressure – When blood pressure stays within a healthy range it helps to reduce stress on the heart, arteries, and overall body. Lowering blood pressure levels helps reduce your chances of heart disease and stroke.

5. Reduce Blood Sugar – Eating foods high in sugar can result in high levels of blood sugar which can lead to damage to the heart, kidneys, eyes, and nerves.

6. Stop Smoking – Cigarette users have a high risk of developing cardiac issues, quitting not only benefits your heart but your whole body.

7. Control Cholesterol – Having high cholesterol can contribute to plaque buildup in the arteries, which can lead to a cardiac episode or stroke. By reducing cholesterol, you can have significantly clearer arteries.

Making changes to any of these seven factors before conditions such as high blood pressure or cholesterol become chronic, is critical to reducing cardiac issues. Taking the time to get the full picture of your health is essential to understanding what you can do to live healthier. Download a copy of the Life’s Simple 7® tracker at heart.org by clicking here.

Check out more information on preventing and protecting your heart from our blog at: danella.com/tag/heart.

 

Source: American Heart Association