3 easy heart-healthy changes that just might make all the difference: You can start today

How would you rank your overall health? (Daniel Reche/Pexels stock image)

What you eat, what you do or don’t do on a daily basis -- all of it can have a profound impact on your heart.

The following information isn’t here to scare you, but did you realize heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States for BOTH men and women, and one person dies every 36 seconds at the hands of cardiovascular disease? That’s according to information provided by Modern Heart and Vascular Institute, which sources the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“There are many things we can do to prevent surgeries and reduce the use of medications and bags of pills,” said Dr. Agarwal at the Modern Heart and Vascular. “Our team wants people to know that our focus is on prevention.”

By now, most people know it helps your heart and overall health to consume a healthier diet and exercise more. Modern Heart and Vascular Institute would like to provide some heart-healthy lifestyle tips you can implement to help you on your path to a healthier life.

1. Focus on adding some greens to your diet.

“While we’re not asking you to avoid processed foods altogether (yet), let’s start with a few substitutions,” the experts said.

Instead of picking up that bag of chips, you can opt for carrots, celery or snap peas. Each of these snacks makes for easy and convenient eating and provide that similar crunch you get with chips.

If you frequently indulge in cookies and cakes, try a fruit salad.

Choosing those “no-sugar” or “low-calorie” options aren’t doing you any favors, and it’s better to get some great nutrients and antioxidants into your system.

In making just a few of these substitutions, you can help ward off buildup in your blood vessels, which can lead to coronary artery disease, high cholesterol and high blood pressure.

2. Go the distance -- it doesn’t have to mean running a daily 5K.

Exercise is incredibly important when it comes to the health of your heart, but that doesn’t mean you need to go to great extremes, especially if you’re not very active at the current time.

Ease into it.

Modern Heart and Vascular Institute recommended the following:

  • Park farther away from your destination than you might have otherwise.
  • Opt for the stairs instead of the escalator.
  • Go for a walk outside.

These are some small steps that will add some much-needed exercise to your day.

3. Reduce stress.

Even if you weren’t stressed before 2020, you might be now.

But stress is hard on your heart, so any steps you can take to relax are well-worth the effort.

You can also try some deep-breathing exercises throughout the day. If you feel your stress levels rising, simply stop, breathe in for four seconds and out for four seconds. After just a few minutes, you should start to feel better.

If you’re looking to tailor a lifestyle plan that will help improve your heart health, Modern Heart and Vascular Institute has a board-certified cardiologist and a board-certified dietitian and nine locations in the Houston area. Click or tap here to learn more.