Your heart starts beating at around three to four weeks in the womb and keeps you moving throughout your life, when all goes well. And for many of us, we only get one heart, making it crucial to protect it. With so many heart-related diseases (coronary artery disease, heart valve disease, etc), and health issues that can harm the heart (blood pressure, high cholesterol), we need to do everything we can in order to keep our hearts healthy and pumping strong. So, what are the best ways to protect your heart?
The doctors, nurses, and assistants at Rawlins County Health Center are passionate about educating each of the patients that visit our medical center in Atwood. Whatever health concern or emergency you’re having, you can count on our staff to provide you with a caring experience.
How to Protect Your Heart
For many people, getting and staying active comes down to not having the energy and lacking the motivation to start. These are big hurdles that will take a lot of mental strength to cross, but when the end goal is to improve the strength of your heart and your overall health, crossing the hurdles is a must. The key is to start out small — take the stairs at work, go on a short walk, swim a couple laps at a pool, or even doing some jumping jacks in your living room in the morning is enough to get your heart pumping. Over time, you can slowly build up the intensity of the activities.
Getting in two and a half hours each week of moderate activity will help lower your blood pressure, keep your weight in control, and can lower your LDL cholesterol. You’ll also benefit by a lower risk of type 2 diabetes, reduced depression, and improved sleep. So however hard you struggle getting started, keep your focus on feeling and living better!
Control Cholesterol by Eating Right
The important thing about cholesterol is to keep a balance between the good (HDL) and the bad (LDL). To keep the bad cholesterol down, keep an eye on the amount of red meats you’re eating, choose low-fat dairy, and try to limit trans fats, such as margarine, doughnuts, sweets with cream or frosting, and fried foods. The good cholesterol (foods such as salmon, whole grains, olive oil, nuts, and beans) works to clean your arteries of the bad cholesterol. If you’re not sure what your cholesterol level is, schedule an appointment at our medical center for a quick test.
Manage Blood Pressure
High blood pressure, or hypertension, often doesn’t have any symptoms, and can be a serious problem for your heart. This is because there is a large amount of stress being put on your arteries, which is caused by various factors, including being overweight, too much salt in your diet, smoking, or stress. Manage your blood pressure by eating a balanced diet with minimal salt and alcohol, and start exercising regularly.
Keep a Healthy Weight
Weight management is a significant part of protecting your heart. Those who are overweight have a higher chance of developing cardiovascular disease or type 2 diabetes. The good news is that it doesn’t take a lot to get results. Losing just 3 to 5 percent of your body weight can help your heart.
Getting and staying healthy is a journey, but one that ends with a healthier, stronger heart! The doctors at our medical center strongly believe that every ounce of effort is worth it. If you’re in need of medical attention or advice, visit Rawlins County Health Center today. Our medical center is located at the east corner of Atwood Lake off of Grant Street.