Five Heart-Healthy Habits to Start Embracing Today

The general state of heart health in the United States is frustrating — more than 650,000 people die of heart disease each year, yet nearly one-third of these deaths could have been prevented. And, we're not referring to drastic measures, but simple steps you can take every day to encourage optimal heart health.

At Humble Cardiology Associates, Dr. Madaiah Revana and our team understand the incredibly powerful impact that a few lifestyle changes can make in improving your heart health, and we want to share five of them here.

1. Get up and move

One of the bigger risk factors for heart disease is a sedentary lifestyle. To keep your cardiovascular system functioning well, it’s imperative that you get your heart pumping and your blood flowing with regular exercise.

Now, we’re not talking about devoting hours of your day to the gym or track, though that’s a great idea if you have the time. Few of us have the time, however, so we suggest instituting a regular regimen, such as a morning or evening walk around the neighborhood with friends or family. 

You can also insert a little more movement into your day by taking the stairs instead of the elevator and parking a little farther from the entrance of where you’re headed. These seemingly small steps can make a big difference.

2. Improve your nutrition

A poor diet is problematic when it comes to your heart health as it can lead to conditions like high cholesterol, hypertension, and coronary artery disease. Wherever you can, cut back on unhealthy fats, added sugar and refined carbs, and excess salt. Up your fiber intake, too. 

For example, you can substitute berries and plain yogurt for cookies or carrots for chips. Swapping out even one processed snack or meal each day in favor of vegetables and fruits can boost your heart health.

3. Turn everything off

The world around you can get fairly stressful at times, and the source of that stress is often in the palm of your hands. You can start by putting that phone or tablet down and unplugging for an hour each day. Instead, use this time to simply sit quietly and breathe or read a book. In doing this, you can bring your heart rate down and lower your stress.

4. Get your zzzs

When you get 7-8 hours of good, restorative sleep each night, your body uses this time to scan and reset itself. As part of this, your heart rate slows, essentially giving your cardiovascular system a timeout from the daily grind.

5. Tobacco and alcohol

It’s hard to talk about improving your heart health without bringing up certain lifestyle habits, such as smoking or heavy drinking. Smoking is one of the biggest risk factors when it comes to heart disease, so we urge you to take the steps necessary to kick the habit.

When it comes to alcohol, we’re not asking you to stop altogether, but if you’re a moderate-to-heavy drinker, cutting out a glass of wine or beer or two is a good idea.

If you’d like to learn more about daily habits that help improve your heart health, please contact call or click to reach one of our offices in Humble or Houston, Texas, to set up an appointment.

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