Whether you have been diagnosed with some type of heart disorder or you are trying to prevent it from happening in the future, it all begins with change. If you are looking to improve your heart, chances are that you need to start by making lifestyle changes. The good news is that these adjustments don’t require a full makeover of your daily life, just some small adjustments. Here are 4 simple ways to improve heart health:
1. Start Exercising in Small Increments
When most people begin trying to improve their health, they think they can go from being inactive to spending hours exercising in the gym every day. The reality is that this is a good way to wear out your body, and you will likely be back to your old lifestyle sooner rather than later. Instead of taking things to the extreme, try starting out with just a simple 10-minute walk around the neighborhood after a meal. Once you have mastered that, try moving it to 30 minutes and so on so you can work your body up to where you want to be. Or, consider breaking it up into more manageable sections – 3 ten minute walks still add up to 30 minutes and increase your overall activity
2. Focus on Your Food
One of the best ways to improve heart health is to look at your current diet and find some areas of improvement. As you may have heard, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. For those who skip breakfast, you are missing out on the best chance to fuel your body for the day with the nutrients you need. Focusing on building a balanced plate for each meal with vegetables, protein, and some fiber will go a long way in improving your heart health. We always encourage food in its most whole forms and minimize processed foods. Olive oil, fatty fish, leafy green vegetables, and beans are all excellent for improving heart health. If you need help, Katherine Mattox, a registered dietitian at AIM, specializes in dietary improvements for cardiovascular health through an anti-inflammatory, whole-food approach.
3. Swap Out the Snacks
It’s normal for your body to need some extra supplementation outside of your three meals a day. There is a common misconception that snacking is bad for you, but it all comes down to what you are eating. There are some snacks that are especially great for heart health, including nuts. Whether it’s almonds, peanuts, or walnuts, these snacks are great for your heart and make a great substitute for a bag of chips or a handful of cookies. The next time you are feeling hungry, think about the decisions you make and how they can affect your long-term health. If you need help finding healthy alternatives or need guidance in meal planning, working with a dietician is a great way to go for your overall health.
4. Stay Positive
While there are some physical aspects to keeping your heart and other parts of your body healthy, there is certainly a mental aspect as well. As you probably know, stress can cause high blood pressure, which is linked to cardiovascular disease. When you are feeling anxious or stressed, try to find activities that you enjoy, such as reading a book or watching your favorite television show. We also have an abundance of treatments that can help with your mental health, including energy healing, health coaching, and medical massage therapy.
Would you like to learn more about heart health and ways to stay healthy longer? Learn more about Alliance Integrative Medicine and see how we can help you! Our team can identify the root cause of your dis-ease and can craft a personalized plan for each patient!