February is AMERICAN HEART MONTH! The heart is an incredibly important component to our overall health, and therefore, it is our responsibility to take care of our hearts. Two of the best ways to make sure that your heart is in good shape is through DIET and EXERCISE!
Exercise: The American Heart Association recommends “40 minutes of aerobic exercise of moderate to vigorous intensity three to four times a week.” Lucky for you, all classes and training sessions offered at The Workout Company allow you to easily achieve this smart recommendation. Risk factors for heart disease include high cholesterol levels and high blood pressure. However, exercising aids in lowering these measures, therefore, decreasing risks for cardiovascular disease.
Diet: Exercising a few times a week is not the only thing you need to do to keep your heart happy and healthy. It is crucial to eat an overall healthy and balanced diet to keep your heart in tip-top shape. A heart-healthy diet includes a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, high-fiber whole grains, lean meats, and low-fat dairy products. However, a heart smart diet does not include excessive amounts of added sugars, trans and saturated fats, and sodium-rich foods. As previously mention, high blood pressure is a predominate risk for heart disease. One way to reduce blood pressure is by following a diet that is low in sodium (DASH diet). It is suggested that we consume no more than 2300 mg of sodium each day. Nonetheless, according to the FDA, Americans consume an average of 3400 mg of sodium per day. You would be surprised at the foods that contain heaping amounts of sodium! In order to avoid over-consumption of this heart-hurting mineral, be vigilant in reading nutrition labels, avoid packaged and processed foods, and eat fresh as often as possible.
With the right combination of diet and exercise, you can limit some of the risk factors for heart disease and keep your heart happy and healthy for years to come!
TODAY (Friday Feb 2nd) is NATIONAL WEAR RED DAY to spread awareness of heart disease!