Some of our clients want to lose weight for purely aesthetic reasons. However, most recognize that weight loss will help them live longer, healthier lives. We’re all more prone to certain health conditions as we grow older, but some of us definitely carry a higher risk than others. Considering that cardiovascular disease is the number one cause of death in this country, we should all take steps to improve our heart health, aside from losing weight.
Here are five ways to improve your heart health, but remember to schedule an appointment with us before starting an exercise routine or drastically altering your lifestyle.
Exercise for at least 30 minutes every day. Include moderate to vigorous aerobic activities such as brisk walking, jogging, swimming, dancing, or even more difficult household chores like cutting the grass (with a push mower, obviously).
Manage your stress. Even “thin” people can develop heart problems, and maybe this is why: Studies have linked excess stress to increased blood pressure, and anyone can suffer chronic stress. This is why we remind our weight loss clients that overall health is about more than just weight, and your health is an ongoing endeavor. So manage your stress, with meditation, yoga, massages, counseling, or hobbies that relax you.
Eat more unsaturated fats. Omega-3 fats, like those found in fish, can lower blood pressure and decrease stroke risks. These nutrients also help to reduce inflammation in your body, which can lead to heart disease. Try salmon, mackeral, tuna, sardines, flaxseed oil, walnuts, and chia seeds to get more unsaturated fats in your diet.
Eat more fiber. Women should be consuming about 25 grams of fiber daily, and men should aim for about 38 grams. Fiber lowers your risk of heart disease by helping you lower your cholesterol and blood pressure.
Eat your veggies. Squeeze in more vegetables wherever you can; add spinach to your omelet, or tomato slices to your sandwich. Increase your serving size of veggies at dinner, and snack on raw vegetables during the day. Just one extra serving daily can make a difference.
And of course, visit us to discuss your dietary plan in more detail. We can help ensure that you’re eating the right balance of nutrients to aid in weight loss and prevent disease for years to come.