Creating a Heart-Healthy Lifestyle
While some heart diseases are congenital, many can be prevented or improved through day-to-day life choices. At Brookhaven Heart, we want to help our patients and their family members improve their health and happiness and maintain healthy living by incorporating heart-healthy behaviors and choices into their daily lives.
Living a Heart-Healthy Lifestyle
Changing your health for the better isn’t just a temporary plan; you need a complete lifestyle change in order to get optimal health benefits. If you return to old unhealthy habits, you may negatively impact your prognosis. A heart-healthy lifestyle consists of three different components: diet, exercise, and decreasing stress. Everyone’s dietary needs, exercise abilities, and ways to relieve stress may be different. It is important always to run your diet and exercise plans by your specialist to ensure you are approaching your new lifestyle in the best way to continue improving your overall health.
Heart-Healthy Diet Plan
Putting together a heart-healthy diet plan doesn’t have to be difficult. There are many heart disease and condition websites that have nutrition information, weekly grocery lists, and delicious recipes to try. A heart-healthy diet plan consists of the following components:
- Fresh fruits
- Fresh vegetables
- Lean meats
- Healthy fats (like olive oil, avocado, coconut, or Omega-3s)
Stay clear of processed or fried foods. Instead, try to make healthier versions of your favorite meals. Bake your breaded chicken instead of frying it. Create a pizza full of seasonal veggies and grilled chicken with a side salad. Eating healthy can be simple and rewarding both in taste and in health benefits!
Moderation is the key to a healthy diet. You don’t have to give up sweets, fried foods or your other favorite things. Instead, keep your heart and body in good condition by balancing treats with fresh fruits, vegetables, lean protein and good grains. For even more heart benefits, incorporate olive oil and other healthy fats into your balanced diet.
Exercise plays a crucial role in a healthy lifestyle. You don’t have to run marathons or commit to intensive weight-training programs to keep your heart healthy and happy. In fact, you can improve your heart’s performance through simple activities that you can easily incorporate into your day, such as taking a brisk 30-minute walk, taking the stairs instead of the elevator and doing some basic housekeeping or gardening. Talk to your doctor about what level and types of activity are best for you.
Many people regularly enjoy a glass or two of wine or beer with dinner or while socializing with friends. Research shows that such moderate alcohol consumption can reduce blood pressure and increase good cholesterol for some people. Be aware of how much alcohol you consume, however – indulging in more than two drinks per day can damage your heart.
Unlike alcohol use, smoking is always bad for your heart, even in moderation. Avoiding smoking is one of the best things you can do to keep your heart healthy. If you currently smoke, talk to your Brookhaven Heart doctor about ways to quit.
Let Brookhaven Heart help you create your heart-healthy lifestyle plan today:
Patchogue: (631) 654-3278
New Hyde Park: (631) 654-3278
We are here for you and your heart!