<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=610462346045315&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">
The Alaska Club

TAC Board: The Alaska Club Blog

Your Heart Needs Your Love

Posted by Elize Rumsley – RD, LD, CDE, MS, PhD. | Feb 1, 2023 5:01:01 PM

Coronary heart disease (CAD) is the most common type of heart disease in the US and continues to be the leading cause of death in the country. Changing lifestyle behavior by choosing healthier foods, being physically active, losing weight and quitting tobacco are the keys to prevention and management of this condition. It is not as difficult as you might think! Instead of making big changes all at once, try to make one small change at a time and try to be consistent on a daily basis.

Below are some simple steps you can take for long-term benefits to your heart and overall health:

- Start exercising regularly. It will help maintain weight and prevent regaining the weight you lost. If you are new to exercise, it is ok to start slowly and increase intensity gradually.

o Start by parking farther away from your office, where you shop, or other places you frequent, taking the stairs instead of the elevator and moving 1-2 minutes for every 30 minutes of sitting.

o Try some floor exercises, light weightlifting or walking on the treadmill while you are watching your favorite TV show.

o Use the gym and sign up for different classes that may interest you. Talk with a personal trainer for more individualized ideas.

o Enjoy outdoor activities like hiking, snow-shoeing or cross-country skiing.

- Instead of dieting, focus on eating a balanced meal. Aim for a healthy plate including ½ plate of vegetables, ¼ of whole grains and ¼ of protein.

o Consume fewer highly processed foods and more natural foods. You will automatically cut the amount of undesirable fat, sugar and salt.

o If ordering out your meals or buying premade foods, be familiar with food labels and lists of ingredients.

o Instead of prepackaged snacks, try to have more fruits and veggies. Aim for 5-9 servings a day.

o Include 1-2 oz (about a handful) of unsalted nuts or seeds a day. They include almonds, walnuts, pecans, pistachios, pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds.

o Choose whole grains as your starch. They have more fiber, and more vitamins and make you feel fuller. They include oats, bulgur wheat, barley, quinoa, wild or brown rice, and farro.

o Try eating Alaskan fish at least twice a week. If eating meats, choose lean meats.

o Use healthy oils, those that are liquid at room temperature. Examples include olive, corn oil, sesame oil, and avocado oil.

o Avoid or limit the daily amount of alcohol to 2 servings for men and 1 serving for women. Drink plenty of water a day (roughly 8 cups of water for most people).

- Sleep well. Aim for 7-8 hours of sleep a night. If you snore, your partner complains of involuntary leg kicks, or frequent interruptions in your breathing, you should consider consult with your doctor about a sleep study. A condition known as sleep apnea can

cause a lack of oxygen that will make you feel tired during the day, and also seriously impact heart health.

- Be nicotine free. The state of Alaska offers services for those interested in living free of tobacco products

Written by Elize Rumsley – RD, LD, CDE, MS, PhD.

Elize is registered and state licensed, has a BS in Human Nutrition and a MA and PhD in Nutrition Science.

Subscribe to this blog

Recent Posts


see all