Healthy choices: The Heart of Good Health
Should you eat eggs? What about cheese? Can you have a glass of wine? How much exercise should you get? You make hundreds of small choices every day, but do they help or hurt your heart? Changing your choices can be challenging, but it doesn’t have to be. Follow these guidelines to keep your heart healthy — or help it heal.
- Eat right for your heart. Heart-healthy foods like fruits, vegetables, healthy proteins (such as fish, beans, chicken, nuts and low-fat dairy), and whole grains will help keep your heart and blood vessels in good shape. Visit our farmers markets for fresh inspiration.
- If you drink alcohol, drink it in moderation. Drinking too much alcohol can raise your total cholesterol levels and your blood pressure.
- Get your heart pumping. We recommend that you do 150 minutes of exercise in a week or at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise on most days. If you can’t do all 30 minutes at once, do 10 minutes at a time.
- Maintain a healthy weight. Lowering your weight by just 10 percent can make a significant difference in reducing your heart disease risk. If you need to lose weight, learn ways to change your eating habits and be more physically active.
- De-stress your life. Stress, anger, anxiety, and depression may keep your blood pressure high and increase your risk for heart attack, stroke, and other illnesses. Use Relax, an online program to create your own personalized relaxation and stress-management plan.
- If you smoke, now’s the time to quit. We have many resources to help you take this critical step to improve your health.