Are you trying to figure out how you can increase your heart’s health? The answer is simple: “By simply leading a healthier life”, according to Nieca Goldberg, MD, medical director of New York University’s Women’s Heart Program and author of Dr. Nieca Goldberg’s Complete Guide to Women’s Health.
Just by making small changes in your everyday routine can mean a stronger, healthier, more efficient heart. “More than half of heart diseases are preventable”, she adds. A study in Archives of International Medicine shows that women who eat plenty of veggies, fruit, whole grains, fish legumes, workout moderately, and don’t smoke have a 92% decreased risk of having a heart attack when compared to women with a less healthier lifestyle.
As leaders in cardiac monitoring, ReactDx wants to ensure that your heart is working at its full potential. We put together 10 Tips For a Healthier Heart in a two-part blog series.
- Know Your Numbers: “You need to know if you’re at risk before you can take action to lower your risk”, says Lori Mosca, MD, PhD, director of preventative cardiology at New York- Presbyterian Hospital. Knowing your HDL or “good” cholesterol, LDL or “bad” cholesterol, total cholesterol, triglycerides, blood pressure, weight and body mass index (BMI) numbers can help you establish a baseline to help plan preventative steps for heart problems.
- Target Your Triglycerides: Triglycerides are a type of fat (lipid) found in your blood. When you eat, your body converts any calories it doesn’t need right away into triglycerides. The triglycerides are stored in your fat cells. Later, hormones release triglycerides for energy between meals. “You should want to aim for a level of 150 or lower”, says Peter H. Jones, MD, and associate professor of medicine at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. “Doctors usually talk about good and bad cholesterol and most folks will have that down, but triglycerides are a better marker for high risk of diabetes and heart disease”, says Jones. Your triglycerides can drop 30% to 50% just by reducing saturated fats and losing weight.
- Go Nuts: Your heart will thank you if you eat 6 walnuts before lunch and dinner. Walnuts are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, which help to decrease inflammation in the arteries in the areas surrounding your heart, keeping your heart functioning longer and better. Other nuts, such as peanuts, macadamia nuts, and almonds are rich sources of plant sterols, which block cholesterol absorption in intestines.
- De-stressing Your Heart: Removing yourself from your everyday stresses, such as your phone or email, for about 15 minutes a day can help reduce stress levels significantly. Putting on relaxing music instead of surfing the web and responding to emails and text messages is a great way to relax.
- Get Support: Having an exercise or workout buddy/partner is a great way to help motivate you and help you continue to stay on track with your workout routine. Exercise improves heart health by keeping your weight down and raising levels of HDL cholesterol. Ideally, you want to workout 60 minutes everyday, but even as little as 20 minutes can have drastic positive effects on your health.
At ReactDx, we have been advancing diagnostic cardiology since 1981. ReactDx develops, manufactures, and provides service with the most reliable and sophisticated ambulatory heart-monitoring systems in the world. Our mission is not only to help physicians but to also ensure that patients are getting the utmost quality in health care and adding years to their lives. To learn more about other healthy facts, read our blog 10 Tips For a Healthier Heart: Part Two, and browse our other blogs to learn more about what services ReactDx can offer.