Even before the pandemic forced most of us indoors and out of our gym routines, only 20% of Americans were following the American heart association’s weekly exercise guidelines for heart health: 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week plus muscle-strengthening exercise two times a week.
But if you haven’t quite gotten back into the healthy swing of things, here are some tips on how to get your heart’s health back in shape.
Is your heart’s health at risk?
Dr. Joshua Larned warns that “a lot of people suffer from heart failure, over five million Americans in any given year will be diagnosed with heart failure and that number is expected to rise for a variety of different reasons.”
One person dies every 36 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease. But how can you make sure your heart is doing OK?
First, lose the booze. It can raise your blood pressure and increase triglycerides, the level of fats in the blood.
Also, ditch the sugars. Added sugar intake can lead to blood pressure, bodily inflammation, weight gain, diabetes, and fatty liver disease, all conditions that can skyrocket your chance of having a heart attack. Also, the American Heart Association advises that adults consume no more than 150 calories of sugar a day, that’s equal to just one can of coke.
And have your blood pressure checked and know your cholesterol levels. Having this information can be key for monitoring your heart’s health.
“The analogy is when the car can’t drive up the hill as the engine has some damage -- it’s the same thing with the heart,” Larned said.
For your heart’s sake, get up and get moving, even if it’s just a walk around the block. With every step, walking can improve your cholesterol levels, blood pressure and energy levels, plus it can fight weight gain.