Love Your Heart By Nurturing It
Valentine’s Day is over now, and although we think of romantic activities to celebrate the special day, what about after? A cardiologist suggests a unique way to celebrate heart’s day, nurture your heart and keep it healthy.
Dr. Sheila Sahni, interventional cardiology fellow at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and UCLA Barbra Streisand Women’s Heart Health Pm, says, “Making heart-healthy lifestyle choices and taking control of your cardiovascular risk factors can help prevent or slow the progression of heart disease.”
Everyday decisions are crucial to cardiovascular health. She says Valentine’s Day is the time to gift yourself with lifestyle changes that will benefit you through the years.
— Dr. Sheila Sahni (@DrSheilaSahni) February 15, 2017
Heart Healthy Tips
Here are Dr. Sahni’s 10 Heart Healthy Tips for Valentine’s Day and beyond:
1. Stay active. Sedentary lifestyle is not good for your heart. Shun away from inactive lifestyle by keep moving. At least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise at least five days a week can yield benefits and keeps your heart healthy. Make physical activity as part of your daily routine.
2. Limit your consumption of red meat, sugar and unhealthy fats. All of these are not good for your heart. Be creative and choosy when it comes to your diet. Add fruits and vegetables to your diet to increase your fiber consumption.
3. Reduce your salt intake. Limiting sodium in your diet helps lower the amount of extra fluid around your heart, lungs, and in your legs. Extra fluid in your body makes your heart work harder and can increase your blood pressure.
4. Stop smoking. Smoking not only damages your lungs, it increases the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases, which includes coronary heart disease and stroke. To have a healthy heart, it is advisable to stop the habit now.
5. Keep your weight under control. This is easier when said than done. But losing even a little weight can greatly improve heart and vascular health, boost heart function, lower blood pressure as well. Health experts say that a healthy diet coupled with regular exercise is the best way to maintain a healthy weight .
6. Know your cholesterol levels. It is a known fact that high cholesterol is a risk factor for heart disease. Time is gold and this means this is the time now to have your cholesterol levels checked.
7. Know your blood pressure. High blood pressure, or hypertension, is a major risk factor for heart attacks, strokes and heart failure. Many people with high blood pressure are unaware that they have this condition.
8. Know your blood sugar levels: Over time, elevated blood sugar levels can lead to diabetes, leading to complications such as heart disease and stroke. This is the best time now to go and see your doctor if you are at risk.
9. Reduce stress: Stress is a no-no to have a healthy heart. Try de-stressing by practicing meditation, yoga, or simply being silent and still for 10 minutes a day. Shun away from stress by having time to unwind and relax at the end of a hectic day.
10. See your doctor regularly. Never get tired to see your doctor for regular medical follow-up. This is one of the best ways to prevent cardiovascular disease. Studies show that people who stop their cardiovascular medications are at higher risk for heart attacks, strokes, heart failure and reduced survival.
Nurture Your Heart and Celebrate
This checklist is the place to start to keep a healthy heart. Valentine’s Day is not only the best time to celebrate love with our significant romantic others, but also the great time to check the health of our heart!