You probably know that a healthy lifestyle (staying active and eating well) can keep your heart healthy. And perhaps Canadians are taking better care of themselves: according to the Government of Canada website, diagnosis of new cases of heart disease has reduced from 217,600 in the early 2000’s to 162,730 in 2018. But what does ‘leading a healthy lifestyle’ mean when it comes to heart health?
Here are 6 key areas to focus on to keep your heart healthy.
- Prevent, improve, or reverse insulin resistance. Insulin resistance, or pre-diabetes strongly correlates with heart disease. For more on insulin resistance, go to https://www.ascendfitnesslifestyle.com and enter ‘insulin’ in the search bar or listen to episode 326 of the Fit and Vibrant You Podcast on insulin and weight gain here: https://www.tanjashaw.com/fvy326/
- Less stress and more joy. We often focus on diet, exercise, and supplementation to boost heart health, but HOW you live your life also matters. Chronic stress wreaks havoc on your entire body, including your heart. If you want to take care of your heart, do what you can to lessen your stress and bring more joy into your life. Mediation, walks in nature, laughter, play and being with loved ones can reduce stress.
- Move your body. You wouldn’t expect me to write an article on heart health and not mention exercise, would you? While there is no one-size-fits-all recommendation for exercise, most of us could use more movement in our life. Aim for at least 30 minutes of intentional exercise daily, and then make a conscious effort to move more during the day (in other words, spend less time sitting).
- Eat less sugar and processed carbs. We often think of avoiding fat, especially saturated fat, to reduce our risk of heart disease (if you ever want to learn more about the ‘science’ of these recommendations, read “The Big Fat Surprise” by Nina Teicholz), however, diets high in sugar and processed carbs threaten your heart health. While you’re at it, also take out trans fats, processed meats, and excessive intake of omega-6 fats.
- Don’t smoke and avoid secondhand smoke.
- Eat a whole foods diet. Wild salmon, berries, lots of veggies, fiber, beans, and a moderate amount of nuts are great foods to focus on for a healthy heart.
Ready to take care of your health? At Ascend Fitness we can help. We focus on helping people over 40 improve their strength, fitness, health, and energy so they can live fully. Our team of Kinesiologists and Medical Exercise coaches are experienced in working with people with different injuries and limitations. Learn more about Fit for Life, our 6 Week New Member Program at www.getfitchilliwack.com, email [email protected] or call us at 604-392-0892.