Health + Fitness

Day 38: Tips to help the heart

In past posts I have talked about exercising the heart. We want to make sure we have a healthy heart so we can enjoy a good life. Here is a check list put out by the American Heart Association called “Life’s Simple Seven.”

These are seven things we should do to assist with good heart health. If we do at least five of the seven, it should help make our heart last longer and beat stronger.

  • Avoid smoking. Don’t do it. The AHA said it is the most preventable cause of premature death in the United States.

  • Maintain a healthy weight. Too much fat around the waist increases the risks of diabetes, high cholesterol and diabetes. This is a major reason why I push lifestyle changes.

  • Exercise. The Heart Association says we should work out moderately 150 minutes a week and rigorously for 75. Those are the minimum guidelines. I want to see more. I am doing about 275-325 minutes a week. You can do it too.

  • Healthy eating. Follow four of these five rules. Our daily intake should include 4.5 cups of fruit or vegetables, less than 1,500 milligrams of sodium and at least three grams of whole grain. We also need two servings of fish per week and less than 450 calories of sweetened beverages. I follow all of these guidelines although I skimp on the whole grain now and then. But I do way less than 450 calories in sweetened beverages. You don’t need it.

  • Check your numbers. They are blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose. These final three parts of the equation are important. If you keep them within range you lower your risk of heart disease by 70-85 percent.

**REMINDER*** The end of 40 days and 40 nights concludes with dinner and drinks at Rosie O’Grady’s Thursday in Ferndale beginning at 6:30 p.m. I would love for you to stop by and say hello and enjoy some food and cheer even if you didn’t go through the program.