Heart Healthy Tips on Valentine's Day
February is National Heart Health Month, but you should be working to keep your heart healthy every day all year long. By taking some simple steps right now, you’re setting yourself up for a happy and healthy life.
Christopher La Mendola, MD, FACS, FACC, Chairman of the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Director of the St. Francis Open Heart Surgery Program at Good Samaritan Hospital, offered some suggestions to get you started and what you need to know to remain heart healthy throughout your life.
20’s: Time to put an end to the late night pizzas and beer. This is the time to establish the heart healthy routine that can be carried throughout life. This stage is all about exercise, diet and lifestyle.
- Regular exercise that allows for all three components of physical fitness (cardiovascular, strength, flexibility).
- Assess your eating habits to develop a heart healthy diet that fits your lifestyle
- Sleep is key. Make sure you’re sleeping 7-8 hours each night.
This is also a good time to meet with a physician to get a general assessment of your health – blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar. This is the time of your life when you should start regular self-examinations for testicular cancer and breast cancer.
30’s: Hopefully you’ve already set a foundation for a heart healthy lifestyle. If not, get going! This stage of life is really about maintaining your routine and adapting it to meet the increasing demands of family and career responsibilities.
- Find creatives ways to fit in your regular exercise at home or work.
- Don’t cheat your heart healthy diet with junk food on the road or at the office. Always keep healthy snacks handy.
- For some people at this stage, family time becomes a priority, but make sure you find time for yourself.
60's If you've been living a heart healthy lifestyle, it will really start to pay off at this stage.
- Your metabolism will start to slow later in life, so you'll need to modify your diet.
- Exercise routines should put less stress on increasingly worn out joints. Less weights, more reps. Focus on flexbility and posture.
- At this stage, it's important to get an annual check-up and learn to recognize the signs of heart disease.
Still wondering how to start a heart healthy lifestyle? Click here and print these tips so you can keep them in your home or office.