With American Heart Month right around the corner, a cardiologist shares 5 simple tips for a healthier heart and a longer life.
Achieving a healthy lifestyle does not always need to include drastic changes to your daily routine. Here’s how cardiologist Dr. David E. Solarz works wellness into his busy day:
1. Try to get at least 4,400 steps per day. “The easiest way to get this? Take a 30 minute walk every day at least five times a week. You’ll easily reap the cardiovascular benefits.”
2. Substitute fruits and vegetables for meat. “The higher fiber content in produce may help to lower the “bad,” or LDL, cholesterol in your blood. Also, research has shown that a plant-heavy diet can also reduce blood pressure and inflammation.”
3. Avoid trans fats and limit intake of saturated fat. “Fat is important in the diet, but where you get it and what kind makes a difference in overall health. Good fats include unsaturated fat from avocados, nuts, olive oil and some vegetable oils. Try to limit cheese, dairy, fried foods and desserts, which are high in saturated and trans fats.”
4. If trying to lose weight, cut the portion size and break up meals into 5 or 6 smaller portions. “By doing this, you are making sure you have energy available at all times of the day. This helps to better control blood sugar and insulin, preventing sudden drops that cause you to become famished and start overeating.”
5. Finally, meditation and social connections are very important. “More and more research is finding the connection between mindfulness and overall body awareness can result in greater physical and mental health benefits, including better control of blood sugar, as well as improved thinking and memory skills. Getting out a little every day and being social is good for the body and keeps the mind sharp and ready to go.