5 Simple Steps to Improve Your Heart Health

Feb 08, 2024
 5 Simple Steps to Improve Your Heart Health
February is American Heart Month, so we’ve put together a list of small steps you can take to improve your heart health.

February is American Heart Month, a time when people — particularly women — can specifically focus on their cardiovascular health. 

It’s incredibly common for women in the United States to suffer heart problems and heart-health-related deaths. Many women often ignore the signs of heart issues or are dismissed by health care providers. 

At Primrose Women’s Health in Dayton, Ohio, our team of women’s health experts, led by Carrie Cogley, APRN, place great value on providing excellent health care that women need and deserve. Take a moment as we review some simple yet effective ways to boost your heart health.

1. Eat a healthy diet

Choosing to fill your diet with nutrient-packed foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes not only boosts your heart health, but it also helps you keep a healthy weight and maintain healthy cholesterol and blood pressure levels. 

Make sure you also limit consumption of sugar, sodium, red meat, and saturated fats. This can help you mitigate risk of obesity and diabetes, two conditions that can lead to poor heart health.

2. Exercise regularly

You might feel like you need to heavily exert yourself for hours every day to meet physical activity requirements. Not true. You can try walking briskly for about 20 minutes, or you can start by lifting a hardcover book or 2-pound weights. 

As you get more comfortable, try to engage in physical activity that gets your heart rate up for about 20- to 30-minute periods at least three times a week.

3. Make healthy lifestyle choices

If you smoke, vape, or use any other types of tobacco products, now is the time to quit. Even inhaling secondhand smoke can harm your heart health.

In addition, if you drink heavily on a regular basis, it’s time to limit your alcohol consumption. Women should drink no more than one alcoholic beverage — about 4 ounces — a day. 

If you have any type of chronic condition, make sure you visit your doctor regularly for proper management, especially if you have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or diabetes.

4. Wash your hands often

Did you know that diseases such as the flu, pneumonia, and other infections can take a huge toll not only on your general wellness but also on your heart? Make sure you wash your hands regularly with soap and water to keep harmful viruses at bay.

5. Think positively

Low stress levels and high feelings of positivity are linked to better health and a longer life. Conversely, having constant feelings of stress or general anger and hostility can lead to high blood pressure and heart disease. 

Tap into positive emotions by keeping a gratitude journal or taking a moment each day to reflect on the good things in life. 

For more tips on caring for your heart or to schedule a wellness visit to check up on your general health, simply call or schedule an appointment online.