5 Tips to Improve Your Cardiovascular Health

heart health - exercising improves cardiovascular healthTsunami. That’s the word used by Kathy Boyd David in her recent editorial in Cardiovascular Business. Tsunami was used to describe the large numbers of future cardiovascular patients predicted due to the aging population, which includes baby boomers.

Instead of joining the tsunami, we can choose to take charge of our health and our bodies. We can do a number of things to stay healthy and prevent future disease. Here are five tips to improve your health:

  • Exercise regularly – Start exercising gradually by including walking, biking, jogging, swimming or any additional movement in your routine.  A recent study showed using electric assist bicycles can provide benefits for your cardiovascular system, especially for people who had been sedentary.
  • Eat a healthy diet – A heart healthy diet includes whole grains, fruits and vegetables, low-fat dairy products, nuts and beans and vegetable oils. Limit sodas, sugar-sweetened beverages and sweets.
  • Sleep for at least 7 hours a night
  • Stop smoking and avoid second-hand smoke
  • Monitor –  Get regular check-ups to monitor health conditions that affect your cardiovascular system and heart, including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes.

This sounds good, but change is hard. Here are some tips for making lifestyle changes:

  • Start with the one change that is easiest for you.
  • Work this change into your routine by putting it into your daily or weekly schedule.
  • Repeat the process until you have incorporated the needed changes into your lifestyle.

Ask for help with any lifestyle changes you need. For example, you may want to join a support group or find a buddy to help you quit smoking, get used to eating more healthy foods or add exercise into your routine. There are numerous programs available. Ask your doctor for recommendations and suggestions to suit your individual needs.

Next Steps: