Ah, the beginning of the year, that time of year when we all promise to make changes, whether it be for health or finances. Here are some new years resolutions for a healthier heart that will help you reach your health goals this year. Would you like to prevent a future heart attack? How about some times to help you recover from a heart surgery?
- Reduce your stress level. Try to take some time off from work and enjoy yourself each and every day. Remember what your goals are and the big picture. Listen to your body, when it says “enough is enough”, it’s usually right.
- Exercise regularly. (at least 30 minutes, 3 times per week) Even small amounts of daily(keyword being Daily) exercise can provide significant healthy heart benefits. Try an easy activity that you enjoy that can fit into your daily routine…it doesn’t have to be at an expensive gym or with a personal trainer. Just walking with for 2 or 3 miles a day with a pedometer each morning would work just as well.
- Perfect time to quit smoking.
- Eat healthier. Drink low-fat milk instead of whole milk. Eat baby carrots & cherry tomatoes as snacks when you’re on the go or for lunch. Have some type of fish for dinner at least two times each week. Eat at least one green vegetable with every dinner. Make a goal to lose some weight if you’re overweight. Track the changes to your weight in a log book or training guide every morning to help you monitor your progress.
- Get your blood pressure under control if it’s elevated. To lower your blood pressure be sure to watch your salt intake, take your blood pressure medications regularly (if prescribed), monitor your blood pressure every day in the morning and write it down. Then review your results with your physician at your next follow-up visit and remember to schedule ongoing visits to closely monitor your readings.
- Focus on lowering your cholesterol. Do you know your LDL (“bad” cholesterol) and HDL (“good” cholesterol) levels. Follow a prudent low cholesterol diet and take your medications (if prescribed) as your physician has prescribed.
Here’s to a healthier New Year and a healthy heart!