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By: Brian Tomlinson
February is American Heart Month. This is a great opportunity to learn about healthy lifestyle habits for a healthy heart. Heart disease and conditions can often be prevented or managed by using these heart health tips:
Exercise—Regular cardiovascular exercise helps to keep your heart strong and healthy. The American Heart Association suggest 40 minutes of aerobic exercise of moderate to vigorous intensity three to four times a week (Association, 2015).
Eat nutritious foods—Foods rich in minerals, proteins and whole grains can help you control your weight, cholesterol and blood pressure. Limit saturated fat, trans fat, sodium, red meat, sweets and sugar-sweetened beverages (Association, 2015).
Get enough sleep—Studies show that you may be at a higher risk for cardiovascular disease if you don’t get an adequate amount of sleep. Researchers believe sleeping too little causes disruptions in underlying health conditions and biological processes, including blood pressure and inflammation (A. Marc Gillinov, 2016).
Manage your stress—Your body reacts to stress by increasing blood pressure, heart rate and muscle tension which over time can affect your health (Todd, 2015). Using techniques to relax or exercises, such as yoga to focus on breathing, help to prevent these reactions.
No matter your age, making smart choices now will support a lifetime of health. Talk to your doctor about your family history, the warning signs of a heart attack or stroke and preventative methods you can learn to be healthy from the inside out. The fitness specialists at the Center are here to help you develop a custom plan for your health and fitness goals, which benefit your heart health. Ask about our Polar BodyAge® assessment to find out your BodyAge and use accurate data to learn your current fitness status.
For more information on healthy heart tips and American Heart Month, visit the American Heart Association’s website at heart.org.
Association, A. H. (2015, 8). The American Heart Association’s Diet and Lifestyle Recommendations. Retrieved from American Heart Association: http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/HealthyLiving/HealthyEating/Nutrition/The-American-Heart-Associations-Diet-and-Lifestyle-Recommendations_UCM_305855_Article.jsp#.WFwyq-QzWM8
Todd, M. (2015, February 19). 5 Healthy Habits for Happy Hearts . Retrieved from U.S. News: http://health.usnews.com/health-news/blogs/eat-run/2015/02/19/5-healthy-habits-for-happy-hearts
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The Health & Fitness Center at Washtenaw Community College - 4833 East Huron River Drive - Ann Arbor, Michigan - 48105 - (734) 975-9950
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