Keeping your heart healthy is something you can work on every day. What you eat and how much you move are a few things that can have a big impact on your heart. Find out why they’re so important and get practical tips on living a heart healthy lifestyle.
TIPS FOR EATING HEALTHY: Healthy eating for a healthy heart is a pattern. It doesn’t focus on one type of food or nutrient, but rather on what you eat over days, weeks and months. This style of eating is naturally low in saturated and trans fats, salt and added sugar. It’s rich in wholegrains, fiber, antioxidants and unsaturated fats.
- Eat more fruit and vegetables. A diet full of a variety of fruit and vegetables is linked to healthier hearts and a lower risk of heart disease.
- Swap to wholegrain. Wholegrain cereals include more of the natural grain. This means they have more nutrients like dietary fiber, B vitamins, vitamin E, and healthy fats.
- Make healthy fat choices. The best fats to include in your diet are monounsaturated and polyunsaturated (omega-3 and omega-6) fats. You can find these healthier fats in avocados, nuts, fish and sunflower seeds.
- Use herbs and spices instead of salt. Eating too much salt is bad for your heart. The sodium in salt can increase your risk of developing high blood pressure, a major risk factor for heart disease.
TIPS FOR BEING MORE ACTIVE: Doing regular physical activity reduces your risk of having a heart attack or developing heart disease.
- Keeping active helps to control common heart disease risk factors, including: high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and being overweight. Regular physical activity can also help strengthen your bones and muscles. It can help you feel more energetic, happier and relaxed.
- Move more. Any physical activity is better than none.
- Set realistic goals. Start with small, realistic goals and work your way up to the recommended 30-60 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity (such as brisk walking) on most days of the week.
- Choose activities you enjoy. When you enjoy being active, you’re more likely to do it more often.
- Get social. Stay motivated by doing physical activity together with a group of friends or family, or even with your dog.
- Sit less. Adults who sit less throughout the day have a lower risk of early death, particularly from heart disease.