After all of this information about Heart Healthy Living it is now time to start making a Heart Healthy Action Plan.
First if you do smoke make sure you stop immediately. Smoking lowers your HDL (good cholesterol) and increase your risk of heart attack, stroke and cancer. If you need assistance with stopping smoking here is a website that can help: http://www.smokefree.gov/ .
Reduce the stress in your life and get more exercise. Here are a couple of ways in which exercise releases endorphins, which can calm your frazzled nerves and allow you to de-stress.
- Getting the proper amount of sleep completely changes your attitude. So shoot for eight hours a night and don’t be afraid to grab a quick nap if you can.
- Try stress free exercises such as yoga, meditation, breathing, tia chi or prayer. Exercise can releases endorphins, which calm your frazzled nerves and allow you to de-stress.
- Start doing your cardiovascular exercises which can provides more energy, less depression, improved digestion and regularity.
Eat your nutritious foods such as more fiber foods, cut out high fat, saturated fats and cholesterol. Eat more foods that are high in monounsaturated fats such as olive oil and canola oil and polyunsaturated fats such as safflower, sunflower or corn oil. Start read your food labels (here is a website that shows you how to read your website: www.nhlbi.nih.gov
Watch your weight. If you weigh too much, your body stores more fat and cholesterol. This may cause your blood cholesterol level to rise. Since fat has many more calories (9 per gram) than protein (4 per gram) and starch (4 gram), the quickest way to lose weight is to reduce the amount of fat in your diet.
Check your blood pressure and cholesterol levels. This can be done through diet and healthy eating habits.
- Use healthy low sodium seasonings such as sprinkles low-salt herbal blends on foods,
- Try butter-flavored (fat free) powders on potatoes, vegetables and noodles.
- Use low-fat dressings and “light” or “fat free” mayonnaise on salads and sandwiches.
- Use non-stick sprays or cookware.
- Remove extra fat from meat and skin from poultry before eating.
- Microwave, broil, grill, bake or steam food without adding fat.
Now you know how you can have a healthy heart and now it is time to start making changes today. If you would like to have a personal heart healthy lifestyle meal plan, click here to find out how!