In our previous blog, we discussed the importance of American Heart Month and how patients should be mindful of their heart disease risks.

For a brief refresher: American Heart Month is a national campaign by healthcare organizations to build awareness about heart disease risks and ways adults can reduce their heart disease risks later on in life. During February, various healthcare providers spread the word about critical lifestyle factors that can lead to heart disease.

Specifically, two of the most import lifestyle factors that impact heart disease include lack of exercise and maintaining a healthy diet. Limited physical activity and poor diet increase your risks of hypertension, obesity, and other chronic conditions that lead to heart disease.

At AFC Urgent Care Norwalk, we’ve compiled a list of diet and exercise tips to give you the heart health tips needed to have a successful American Heart Month. Make sure that you combine these tips with regular screenings at our walk-in clinic, and other healthcare services you may need, to maximize heart disease prevention:

Building a heart-healthy diet: Poultry, fish, fruits, and veggies are a great start

Maintaining a healthy diet is one of the most important, and difficult, steps in improving heart health and heart disease risks.

However, the American Heart Association (AHA) provides a list of healthy foods, recipes, and   dietary options for adults that want to lower their heart disease risks. A basic heart-healthy diet includes plenty of fruits and vegetables, lean poultry, fish, low-fat dairy products, nuts and legumes, and non-tropical vegetable oils.

Incorporating heart-healthy food groups may not be easy if you’re used to a certain dietary routine or other foods. A few recipes sourced by the AHA that may help individuals get started on eating healthier include:

 

 

These are just a few of the recipes featured on the AHA’s website. Individuals can look for recipes by cuisine type, cook/prep time, and food group to begin their new diet!

Aerobic exercises can lower heart disease risk, increase weight loss, and reduce stress!

Daily or routine physical activity is always an essential part of maintaining good heart health.

The AHA recommends that adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity per week or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic exercise in a week. Adults are also recommended to reduce how low they sit or remain inactive with routine walks or similar forms of movement.

For fitness beginners, moderate-intensity workouts are the easiest ways to build a fitness routine. Some forms of moderate-intensity workouts include the following, per the AHA:

 

  • Brisk walking (at least 2.5 miles per hour)
  • Water aerobics
  • Dancing (ballroom or social)
  • Gardening
  • Tennis(doubles)
  • Biking slower than 10 miles per hour

 

Additionally, you can find workouts or fitness activities that you enjoy by connecting with fitness trainers, local community groups such as athletic associations, and even your local medical providers.

Give these nutrition and exercise routines a try to kickstart a healthier lifestyle that improves heart health! Make sure you also share these tips and get the word out this month for American Heart Month!