Heart disease is a leading cause of death in the U.S. for both men and women. Focusing on your heart health has never been more important, people with poor cardiovascular health are at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19. When we take care of our hearts as part of our self-care, we set an example for those around us to do the same. Joining forces with friends or family may keep you more motivated and protect your heart health.
Remember heart disease is largely preventable! Below are some examples of ways to keep your heart healthy:
- Stay active.
- Join a live or virtual interactive workout class.
- Play in the yard with your family.
- Aim for 150 minutes of physical activity each week.
- Don’t have a lot of time? Try doing 10 minutes of activity, 3 times a day!
- Track your heart health stats.
- Use a fitness tracker or app to keep you organized and motivated.
- Get enough sleep.
- Studies show that regularly sleeping too little increases our risk of high blood pressure.
- Schedule your bed time to allow yourself to get 7-8 hours of sleep.
- Make time for self-care.
- Devoting some time every day to care for yourself can help keep your blood pressure in a healthy range and reduce your risk of heart disease.
- Examples of self-care can include moving move, preparing healthier meals, getting quality sleep, and taking a moment to de-stress.
- Try yoga or meditation to reduce stress.
- Prepare delicious, nutritious meals.
- DASH is a flexible and balance eating plan that helps you eat heart-healthy for life.
- Learn more here: https://healthyeating.nhlbi.nih.gov/
- Quit smoking.
- Quit smoking together, social support makes quitting smoking easier.
- Keep current with your doctor’s appointments and medications.
- If you’re pregnant or planning pregnancy, take extra care of your heart to help protect you and your baby.
- Physical activity lowers your risk of gestational diabetes, extra pregnancy pounds, & postpartum depression. Talk to your provider about moving more safely.
- Talk to your provider about how to avoid and watch for preeclampsia, a type of high blood pressure that can put you and baby at risk. Taking a little time every day to care for your heart health will help.
- Remember every day is a fresh start. It is never too late or too early to invest in your heart health.