Heart Healthy Habits
Updated: Feb 21, 2022
Did you know? According to the CDC, one person dies every 36 seconds from cardiovascular disease in the United States.
Here is how you can keep your heart healthy and happy:
Know the risk factors! There are many risk factors that we actually have control over. These are known as Modifiable Risk Factors and they include things like:
High blood pressure
High blood cholesterol
Lack of physical activity
Know the truth! Being able to differentiate between myths and useful, truthful information is important when taking charge of your health. Take cholesterol, for example.
Instead of lowering cholesterol, what if we try to optimize it? Not all cholesterol is bad, and we actually need it for our body to function properly. Here are some great ways you can enhance your cholesterol and help your heart stay healthy and strong:
Wait, what??? I thought fat was bad?! Don't worry, you're not alone in your thinking.
It's the type of fat that we eat that is not good for us. Fat is actually great for your body and important for heart health.
Prioritize and maximize your consumption of Omega-3 oils from fish, and monosaturated fats from nuts and olive oils to improve the quality of your cholesterol.
Reduce your consumption of trans fats and refined vegetable oils. (Think processed, fried, and baked goods)
But remember, the key to a healthy lifestyle is balance! You can reduce your consumption of trans-fats and refined oils without denying yourself a treat now and then. So have that piece of Birthday cake, but stay mindful!
LIMIT SUGAR INTAKE
When we think "eat healthily," we think 'Low-Fat' or 'Low-Calorie,' but do we ever take the time to look at the sugar content of our foods?
Diet food manufacturers actually add sugar to replace the taste lost from omitting fat. And just scroll up to remind yourself how important fat is! Yikes!
But how can I reduce my sugar intake? Don't worry, we've got you!
Limit your intake of processed foods.
Limit your intake of refined carbohydrates like white bread and pasta, sodas, and sweets.
Learn how companies try to fool you! If you check your food label and don't see sugar in the ingredient list, don't assume you're in the clear. Manufacturers have a million different names for sugar. Check out this list of 56 Names for Sugar.
Monitor labels for hidden added sugar.
Be aware of items labeled as "Sugar-Free." It may have sugar alcohols that can cause GI distress for many of us.
What are some healthy alternatives?
Try maple syrup or local honey. But go easy, it's still sugar!
GET SOME SLEEP
Good quality sleep has been shown to lower unhealthy blood sugar! Alternatively, lack of sleep has been shown to be a risk factor for increased blood sugar. Improve your quality of sleep by adopting good sleep hygiene.
Sleep hygiene?? Yes! Just like brushing your teeth, and washing your hands, sleep hygiene is an important healthy habit. Here's how to improve it:
Power down an hour or two before bed
Wake up and go to sleep at the same time
Practice unwinding by meditating or stretching before bed
Can't get enough? Find more ways you can participate in heart-healthy activities!
From The Kitchen
This comforting, heart-healthy classic is full of fiber and vegetables for a healthy and deliciously warming meal. A perfect addition to a cold night or while watching the big game!
Get Moving with Us
Is there a fitness instructor or personal trainer that you love? (besides us, of course!) We are looking for fun, genuine, experienced Pilates Instructors, Personal Trainers, and Fitness Instructors to join our team. If you'd like to see them on our schedule, send them Laura's email: Laura@vos-fitness.com.