Adding these simple actions throughout your day can support long-term heart health.
Wake up … to the importance of hydration
Recent findings from the US National Institutes of Health suggest that maintaining good hydration day to day and throughout life may slow age-related decline in heart function and cut the risk of developing heart failure.
A glass of water first thing in the morning can set the tone for staying hydrated through the rest of the day—an important aspect of maintaining cardiovascular health. Proper hydration makes it easier for your heart to pump blood through your vessels.
Make your meals … half fruit and veg
The USDA MyPlate food guide recommends filling half your plate with fruits and vegetables—and for good reason. Abundant in nourishing vitamins and minerals; high in heart-protecting antioxidants; and rich in fiber to promote healthy cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood vessel function, fruits and vegetables can help you cut your risk of heart attack and stroke.
As you prepare your breakfast, pack your lunch and snacks, and plan your evening’s dinner, making sure that vegetables and fruit account for half of what’s on your plate is a small decision that can provide big benefits for your heart health.
Get moving … at every opportunity
Sedentary behavior increases your risk for cardiovascular disease. And health care providers regularly prescribe exercise to their patients as preventive medicine. Whether you make regular exercise part of your schedule or not, looking for small opportunities to move throughout your day is a great way to support your heart and avoid the dangers of sedentary behavior.
Referred to as “exercise snacking”—short one-minute-or-less bursts of physical activity—getting small moments of movement throughout your day can be as simple as taking the stairs or doing some squats at your standing desk. Once you start looking for little opportunities to move, you’ll be finding them all over the place!
Making your bedroom a haven of darkness can help increase your sleep’s heart-protective effects. Research has found that even moderate amounts of ambient light during nighttime sleep can harm cardiovascular function. Ensuring your sleeping quarters are as dark as possible will let you rest easy knowing you’ve made a decision that can improve your sleep—and provide meaningful support for the health of your heart.
Are you going to try and make one change? Share with us on Instagram and Facebook @deliciouslivingmag. You’ll find plenty of support within our community of like-minded wellness enthusiasts!