Your heart works hard to take care of you every day, but when was the last time you stopped to consider what you can do to care for your heart?
Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. But, the good news is that it’s also one of the most preventable health conditions (1). Many of the factors that have a strong influence on heart disease risk are related to your diet and lifestyle. This means that the choices you make to care for your heart will go a long way in reducing your risks, and keep your heart healthy for years to come.
Here are five simple steps you can take to show your heart some love.
1. Know Your Numbers
High blood pressure and high cholesterol are two major risk factors for heart disease. The American Heart Association recommends that all adults get their blood pressure and cholesterol levels checked regularly (2). Once you know your numbers, you have the information you need to take action and keep your risk factors under control.
2. Get Active
Part of taking action is being physically active. Physical activity is essential for a healthy heart. Any type of activity has benefits, but those that get your heart pumping like brisk walking are especially important. Aim for at least 30 minutes of heart-pumping physical activity most days of the week (3). The more active you are, the more benefits you can receive.
3. Aim for a Healthy Weight
By itself, excess weight is an important risk factor for heart disease. Carrying too much weight can also increase the likelihood of other problems that put your heart in danger, like high blood pressure and cholesterol levels. If you are overweight, even a modest amount of weight loss – just 5-10 percent – can have measurable benefits for your heart health (4).
4. Make Healthy Eating a Habit
A heart-healthy diet is one that is low in cholesterol and saturated fat, rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and limits salty or sugary snack foods. Healthy eating is one of the best choices you can make to care for your heart, and can help control many of the challenges that impact heart health. Managing cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and weight are just a few of the ways healthy eating can help keep your heart happy (5).
5. Smart Supplementation
No dietary supplement can replace any of the above steps for protecting your heart. However, there are a few that have been scientifically studied that can complement a heart-healthy diet. One of these is plant sterols, or phytosterols, which are shown to support healthy cholesterol levels. Another is fish oil omega-3 fatty acids. Coenzyme Q10, or CoQ10, may also support heart health.
Making smart diet and lifestyle choices is an important way to care for your heart. Start by getting your blood pressure and cholesterol levels checked regularly. Once you know your numbers, you can begin to incorporate healthy habits including regular physical activity, weight management, and smart nutritional choices.
Whether your goals include weight wellness or getting the most out of your workouts, Isagenix provides nutritional solutions that can complement your heart-healthy lifestyle choices with science-backed products to help you reach your goals.
- Xu, JQ, Murphy, SL., Kochanek, KD, Bastian, BA. Deaths: Final data for 2013. National Vital Statistics Report. 2016:64(2).
- Eckel RH, Jakicic JM, Ard JD, et al. American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Task Force on Practice Guidelines. 2013 AHA/ACC guideline on lifestyle management to reduce cardiovascular risk: a report of the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Task Force on Practice Guidelines. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2014 Jul 1;63(25 Pt B):2960-84.
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. 2008 physical activity guidelines for Americans. Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion publication no. U0036. October 2008. http://health.gov/paguidelines/pdf/paguide.pdf. Accessed February 8, 2018.
- Ebbert JO, Elrashidi MY, Jensen MD. Managing overweight and obesity in adults to reduce cardiovascular disease risk. Curr Atheroscler Rep. 2014 Oct;16(10):445.
- Mozaffarian D, Appel LJ, Van Horn L. Components of a cardioprotective diet: new insights. Circulation. 2011 Jun 21;123(24):2870-91.