You’ve probably heard it a thousand times: Healthy diet and exercise can help you keep your heart healthy. But what else can you do to make sure your heart is protected? We’ve laid out five additional things you can do to help your heart stay protected and be in optimal condition.
Avoid trans fat and go for healthy fats
One important thing to remember is that not all fats are created equal. There are “good” fats — monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats — that are good for your heart, and there are “bad” fats — trans fats — that can increase disease risk, even when consumed in small quantities. So, instead of eating commercially-baked pastries and doughnuts, which may contain trans fat, go for foods like avocados, nuts, and fish with good fats that are healthy for your heart.
Get enough sleep
Lack of sleep can cause problems with your blood pressure and may heighten the risk of heart disease. Getting enough sleep gives your body enough time to restore, recharge, and repair itself. If you’re having difficulty getting enough sleep, now may be the right time to make some changes so you can stick to a regular sleep schedule.
Avoid smoking and stay away from secondhand smoke
When you smoke or accidentally inhale secondhand smoke, the blood distributed to the rest of your body becomes contaminated. Not only does it increase the risk of heart disease, but it can also harm nearly any part of your body.
Limit alcohol consumption
Excessive alcohol consumption is defined as drinking more than three drinks per day for men or women. A serving size is equal to 12 oz of beer (5% alcohol), 1.5 oz of spirits (40% alcohol) or 5 oz (12% alcohol) of wine. Over time, too much alcohol can lead to serious health problems. If there’s an occasion, please drink moderately.
Go for regular checkups
The key to preventing heart disease is to manage your risk factors, and the best way to find out which risk factors you have is through screening tests during doctor visits.
Healthy lifestyle behaviors can help lower your heart disease risk while also preventing other serious health conditions. If you have some questions, we’re here for you. You can contact our office at (613) 592-0862, or you can fill out the form on this page and have a patient advisor call you today.
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