family at a pharmacy

The Best Do's and Don'ts for a Heart Healthy Lifestyle

doctor holding red love heart
February 13, 2024

Heart disease is one of the leading causes of death for both men and women, so it’s very important to understand your own risk of heart problems and ways to prevent it. We want to share some helpful do’s and don’ts for a heart healthy lifestyle that anyone can do, starting right now!

DO: Know your numbers.

blood pressure cuff at home

How do you know if you have an increased risk of heart disease?

  • You smoked in the past or currently smoke.
  • You have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or diabetes.
  • You are overweight.
  • You live a sedentary lifestyle.
  • You eat a lot of fried and processed foods.
  • You have a family history of heart disease.

If the previous bullet points described your current health state, you could be at a much higher risk for potential heart issues. Even if you’re currently healthy, regular physicals are vital for consistently checking your blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar levels. Preventative care like a yearly physical can detect small issues before they become serious, which could potentially be life-saving!

DON’T: Vape, smoke, or use tobacco products.

Smoking damages the integrity of your blood vessels, and the effects are permanent. If you currently smoke, quit right away, and if you don’t smoke, resolve to never start! Avoid secondhand smoke, too. We realize it’s easier said than done to quit smoking, but help is available. Reach out to us, find resources to quit smoking, or call 1-800-QUITNOW (1-800-662-4357) for immediate and free confidential support.

DO: Make smart food choices.

heart healthy diet

Simple swaps to low-fat or fat-free products are a great first step in eating a heart-healthy diet. Beyond that, it’s crucial to eat a variety of fruits and vegetables, as well as whole grains and protein. Healthy fats like those found in olive oil, avocadoes, nuts, and seafood should also be a part of your diet instead of fried foods, processed carbohydrates, alcohol, and red meat. We’re not saying you can never eat fast food or drink alcohol ever again. However, being mindful of what and how much you eat is necessary for maintaining not just your heart health but also your overall well-being. Remember, everything is good in moderation!

DON’T: Stay inactive– get moving!

Maintaining your weight is another key part of a heart healthy lifestyle. The lack of physical activity can lead to developing long-term conditions and putting a strain on your heart. Regular exercise promotes healthy blood flow and circulation, important components of heart health, as well as improving your mood, metabolism, and immunity. Aim for at least 30 to 60 minutes of daily movement– a brisk walk around the neighborhood is a great activity, but don’t be discouraged if you can’t reach this goal right away. Start where you can, whether it’s 5 minutes of walking the dog or taking the stairs!

DO: Be mindful of stress levels.

cbd oil

Chronic stress is a contributing factor to declining heart health. If you notice that your stress is creeping higher, it’s time to find ways to combat those stressors. For example, yoga or pilates is an excellent stress reliever, combining physical activity, breathing exercises, and mindfulness. Another tip is to incorporate daily vitamins and supplements. Magnesium, Vitamin D, and Ashwagandha are a few great supplements for stress management. In addition, CBD oil can be a useful tool in managing anxiety and depression; its anti-inflammatory properties could also help to regulate cholesterol and blood pressure levels.

DON’T: Neglect sleep.

Not getting enough good-quality sleep affects your body in a myriad of ways, from energy levels and mood to even more serious risk factors for diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, and heart attack. Try sticking to a daily sleep schedule (at least 7 hours every night) so your body can properly replenish and rejuvenate itself.

Prioritizing a heart healthy lifestyle is possible when you partner with a trustworthy clinic such as Riverside Village Clinic! You can rely on us for personalized primary care, including preventative screenings. Our knowledgeable team of healthcare professionals is dedicated to sharing their expertise regarding a variety of conditions, from heart disease and other chronic illnesses to ED, gut problems, and mental health concerns. Learn more about our general care services, and don’t hesitate to get in touch with any questions!

Related Blog Posts

immunity boosting foods
December 19, 2023
A Natural Defense: 6 Immunity Boosting Foods
tired woman
November 19, 2023
5 Signs of Hormonal Imbalance in Women
woman holding gut in hand for gut health
October 26, 2022
How to Improve Gut Health: 5 Simple Solutions