5 Healthy Heart Habits

Take care of your heart- you only have one. Heart disease is preventable and you can do your part to control your risk factors. Here are five ways you can protect your heart.

Limit alcohol

Alcohol consumption can increase levels of fat in the blood stream, causing high blood pressure and obesity. Drinking alcohol in moderation is key. The recommendation is two drinks for men and one drink for women per day. Below are the standard serving sizes of alcohol.

•12 oz. beer

•4 oz. of wine

•1.5 oz. of 80-proof spirits

•1 oz. of 100-proof spirits

Stick to a healthy diet

Eat your way to a healthier heart. Refrain from high calorie meals which can lead to obesity, a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Harvard Health recommends steering clear from processed meats, highly refined and processed grains, and soft drinks. Choose nutrient-rich foods and a diverse diet loaded with vegetables, fruits, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, poultry, fish, oils, and nuts. You can get your chocolate fix in by snacking on some dark chocolate that is at least 70 percent cocoa.

Manage blood pressure

Sticking to a lean diet goes hand in hand with maintaining a healthy blood pressure. Make sure you know your numbers. Limit your intake of saturated fats, trans fats and sodium. These can contribute to high cholesterol and blood pressure.

Be active

Did you know that walking 30 minutes a day can lower your risk for heart attack and stroke? Join a gym, find a fun exercise class or boot camp, take family walks or go for a bike ride. Park a little farther away than usual at the grocery store, walk around the building during your lunch break or take the stairs instead of the elevator. When it comes to moving, anything helps- even dancing! Dancing is an enjoyable way to stay fit and keep your heart rate up. Join us on Saturday, February 24 from 11-2:30 pm at Day of Dance- the biggest dance party for better health in the United States.

Quit smoking

Quitting is beneficial for your entire body, heart included. Key takeaways about smoking and heart disease:

•Nicotine drastically increases blood pressure and heart rate

•Smoking impairs blood vessels, which results in clots

•Your good cholesterol decreases (HDL)


For more tips for a healthier lifestyle, visit American Heart Association. If you would like to schedule an appointment with a cardiologist at Lovelace Women’s Hospital, please call 505-727-2727.