February 2023 Top Health News From Alliant Insurance ServicesFebruary 01, 2023Healthy Body, Healthy Heart
Each day your heart beats, on average, 100,000 times, pumping your blood through a vast system of blood vessels that’s more than 60,000 miles long. Your heart is an amazing engine, but it needs your help to keep blood moving.
Lower your risk of cardiovascular disease:
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- Manage your blood pressure to reduce strain on your heart, arteries and kidneys.
- Monitor your blood cholesterol to give your arteries their best chance to remain free of blockage.
- Stop using tobacco. Cigarette smoking significantly increases the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke.
- Maintain healthy blood sugar to help prevent type 2 diabetes, a factor that can damage your heart, kidneys and nerves.
- Eat well. A heart-smart eating plan contains lots of vegetables, fruit, whole grains, nuts and fish. It’s also lower in refined flour, salt, meat and sweets.
- Move every day. Getting at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity weekly (any amount is beneficial, but more is better), such as brisk walking, helps reduce your heart disease risk.
- Maintain a healthy weight. Both aerobic exercise and resistance (weight) training burn calories, aid weight loss and help improve your baseline metabolic rate. The more muscle mass you develop, the more calories you burn. Losing even 10% of your weight can reduce the burden on your heart. Your health care provider can help you safely manage your weight.
- Watch your alcohol intake. The American Heart Association advises that men should have no more than two drinks per day, and women should have no more than one drink per day. If you don’t drink alcohol, don’t start.
- Make time to sleep. You need seven to nine hours every night (or day, if you work shifts). Quality sleep allows the body to repair itself and helps reduce inflammation, a contributing factor in heart ailments. Did you know? Sleep deprivation is linked to high blood pressure and heart disease, according to the CDC.
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