Heart Friendly Living

There are many people who love to build their muscles. They eat right and pump iron to get to their best. They also at times make sure you notice once how strong they are!

Wouldn’t it be great if we all felt that way about our hearts – a very important muscle. We would be active to make it strong. We would eat better to keep it at its best. We could even show off at times to let people see how strong our heart is!

Let’s all work together to get our hearts healthy. Here are the key things for heart health:

  • Eating a healthy diet.
  • Maintaining a healthy weight.
  • Getting enough physical activity.
  • Not smoking or using other forms of tobacco.
  • Limiting alcohol use.

Eat Food that’s good for you
Try to eat more fresh fruits and vegetables and fewer processed foods. Fill half your plate with fruits and veggies. Eat foods low in saturated fats, trans fat, and cholesterol. Aim for foods high in fiber. Limit salt (sodium) in your diet to help lower your blood pressure. Limit sugar in your diet to lower your blood sugar level. It also can help prevent or control diabetes.

Aim for a Healthy Weight
Being at a weight that’s not healthy for you increases your risk for heart disease. To know if your weight is in a healthy range, learn your body mass index (BMI). If you know your weight and height, you can get your BMI at CDC’s Assessing Your Weight website. Doctors sometimes also use waist and hip measurements to see if you have excess body fat. To learn your BMI, go to https://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/assessing/index.html

Do regular Physical Activity
Being active helps you stay at a healthy weight and lower your blood pressure, cholesterol, and sugar levels. For adults, the Surgeon General recommends 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise every week. This includes activities such as brisk walking or bicycling. Children and adolescents should get 1 hour of physical activity every day.

Stop using Tobacco or don’t start
Cigarette smoking greatly raises your risk for heart disease. If you don’t smoke, don’t start. If you do smoke, quitting will lower your risk for heart disease. Your doctor can suggest ways to help you quit.

Also, visit www.quitnow.ne.gov for tips and tools for quitting. Plus, learn how to get a free two-week supply of nicotine replacement product.

Limit the Alcohol you drink
Avoid drinking too much alcohol, which can raise your blood pressure. Men should have no more than 2 drinks per day, and women only 1/per day.

For more on this topic, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at www.cdc.gov

Call Four Corners for help in keeping your heart healthy: 1-877-337-3573. Or email us at info@fourcorners.ne.gov.