Men's Health, Nutrition and Fitness, Women's Health, Your Health Ben Brown | 7 years ago

27 Simple Tips for Better Heart Health!

1. Dear Diary

Buy a journal and write down your daily feelings or doodle thoughts on the day’s events. You’ll get to know yourself better, reduce stress, solve problems and clarify your thoughts and feelings.

2. I Like to Move It, Move It

Regular exercise controls your weight, boosts your energy and combats against conditions like cardiovascular disease, stroke, diabetes, depression and arthritis. Stop seeing exercise as a chore and make it a fun part of your day. Find an exercise routine that you like and stick with it!

3. Job Title: Underwater Basket Weaver

Confucius said, “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” That Confucius was one smart cookie. Finding your passion gives you more than just a job or a hobby: it provides a sense of fulfillment that you won’t get anywhere else.

4. Wakey, Wakey!

Instead of hitting the snooze button, get out of bed – or even set you alarm to wake a little earlier – and treat yourself to an invigorating walk around your neighborhood to get your heart pumping, burn calories and tone muscles.

5. I Think I Can!

Grumpy Cat may be an internet celebrity, but in real life no one likes a grump. You limit yourself with a “glass-half-full” approach to life. Stay optimistic to keep yourself happy and focused and keep those positive juices flowing.

6. “Hi Mom and Dad! No, I don’t want any money!”

Keeping in touch with family and friends regularly boosts your psychological well-being, combats depression and loneliness, and solidifies your support system to help you cope when difficult life events may arise.

7. Veg Out

You’ve been hearing, “Eat your vegetables” since you were stuck finishing those mushy peas on your plate as a kid. But mom and dad were right: eating vegetables and fruits as part of an overall healthy diet may reduce your risk for heart disease, including heart attack and stroke. And you don’t have to make mushy peas – try grown-up recipes like balsamic-roasted Brussels sprouts or green beans amandine.

8. Is that a Sialia?

Studies show that taking in the sounds of nature is beneficial for brain performance and memory and reduced stress. Try visiting a nature center or going bird watching at your local park. (Sialia, by the way, is the scientific name for a bluebird.)

9. It’s All About the Benjamins

Having an emergency fund can reduce the stress that comes with worrying over where money might come from for an emergency, like a car repair or unexpected medical bill. Start by putting aside just a few dollars a week – you’ll be surprised how quickly it adds up!

10. Ohmmmmmmm

Meditation improves concentration and induces relaxation, which lowers blood pressure. Take a few moments at the start or end of your day to meditate in a quiet area.

11. Yo – I’m Talkin’ Over Here!

It’s common to be afraid to voice your opinion at work, but speaking up boosts your confidence and shows you’re more invested, which can lead to more opportunities, more promotions and more raises.

12. But, But, But…

There is no “perfect” time to do anything, like change jobs, get married, have kids or buy a house. No matter where you are in life, it’s easy to find an excuse to wait. Don’t! Start today and begin pursuing the change you want to achieve.

13. Pay it Forward

By volunteering you can learn new skills, meet new people, improve your health and well-being and have a meaningful, positive impact on your community and those in need.

14. “Let it Go”

Elsa from “Frozen” was on to something. Forgiving past grudges and letting go of bitterness leads to healthier relationships, fewer symptoms of depression, and improved heart health due to lower stress and blood pressure.

15. Skydiving? OK!

Okay, maybe you’re not comfortable with skydiving, but trying new things leads to increased confidence, self-esteem, self-exploration and overcoming fears. Take a class and learn to play guitar or join a social group that centers on a topic you know very little about.

16. Use Your Vacation Days

A recent study shows that only half of Americans use all of their vacation and paid time off. You earned those days – so use them! Vacation allows you to recharge your batteries, spend time with loved ones, let go of stress and improve your mental health.

17. Zzzzzzzzz

Forty percent of Americans are sleep deprived.  Heart disease, diabetes and obesity have all been linked with chronic sleep loss and so have poor work performance, auto accidents, relationship problems and depression. For good health, be sure you’re getting between seven and nine hours of sleep each night.

18. Declutter Your Clutter

Organizing your home and work space more efficiently will save you time, reduce stress and can actually give you healthier spaces in which to live and work with less dust and germs.

19. Cut Up Those Cards

Credit cards, that is. Spending money on things you can’t afford is a slippery slope that can lead to insurmountable debt – and crushing stress. Evaluate what you’re spending your money on and ask, “Do I really need this?” Curbing your spending can lead to more savings and a larger emergency fund.

20. Make it Yourself

Cooking at home instead of ordering fast-food or take-out meals allows you to control what you put in the food, avoids hidden fat/salt/sugar, and saves money. Try new dishes, make dinner time family time around the table, or buy something everyone can enjoy with the money you saved from not dining out.

21. NaCL you Later!

Cut sodium from your diet. You’ll lower your blood pressure and your risk of heart disease, heart attack and stroke. Use fresh, whole and natural foods in your cooking and use spices like basil, oregano or dill for flavor – with no added sodium!

22. What happens to a frog's car when it breaks down? It gets toad away!

Laugh. Every day. Laughter lowers blood pressure, reduces stress, improves hearth health and produces a general sense of well-being. C’mon. You know that joke was funny.

23. Attitude of Gratitude

It’s easy to get caught up in the little inconveniences of life, but instead of complaining, take a moment instead to realize all the good things you have. Be thankful. Grateful people tend to be more optimistic, which, studies show, boosts the immune system and reduces stress.

24. No More Resolutions

A New Year’s resolution fails for 90 percent of us because: 1) It’s often too big of a goal and 2) We have no real plan to accomplish it. Instead, strive for small achievements that add up to big change. And don’t beat yourself up if you fail or miss a milestone along the way. Start over and try again.

25. Quit Smoking

No, really … quit smoking. It’s bad for you and you know it. Get help from your doctor if you need it.

26. Neit. Non. Nein. No.

Agreeing too much and overcommitting can lead to stress and illness. It’s hard sometimes, but saying no can give you more time, energy, control and confidence.

27. Make a Plan, Stan

Do you live by the code, “Don’t start today what you can put off until tomorrow?” Stop procrastinating. By making a plan to tackle projects, or work or family demands, you better manage your time, feel accomplished, and move on to other things – not to mention reduce your stress level and improve your overall health. A healthy heart lets you stay focused on doing what you love. Learn how Sanger Heart & Vascular Institute can help you keep your heart healthy.