Heart Health


Help prevent heart Disease with do-able actions

Knowing the risk factors of the heart is a good way and plays a major role in preventing heart disease.
Few of these risks are things that you can’t change such as:

Family history
Sex and age

Among these, are still a lot you can do to prevent heart disease. Here are some practical steps that you can take to reduce your risk without the use of medication.

Regular Exercise - Get out and move

Getting regular physical activity plays a major role in reducing heart disease risks. Physical activity can help you reach and stay at a healthy weight. It can lower blood pressure, blood glucose and cholesterol. Another major benefit of physical activity is the lowering effect of stress levels, a factor of heart disease.

How much Activity is needed

Any Activity is better than none. However, it is recommended to aim for 30 to 60 minutes of activity per day.  If you cannot fit this into one block of time, you can break it up into shorter bouts of 10 to 15 minutes at a time dependent on your schedule and gradually increase your activity level.

Physical activity is movement.

You can achieve your physical activity through moving your body. These activities fit well into body movement:

Dancing - dance to your favorite sound track to strengthen your heart muscles.

Gardening - if you enjoy it then plan one and make it - bending, walking, stooping over, digging, raking are all movements that engage different muscle groups and parts of the body and contribute to movements.

Shopping, going to work and walking the dog

When you go shopping or to work, park the car a little distance further from the entrance or better yet, take the stairway.

Taking your dog out for a walk are all activities that count toward your total time activity

Bike Riding

Hop on your bike and pedal away. It is a great activity and one that can be done for a lifetime.

Watch & Tone

While watching your favorite television show, you can use hand weights or resistance bands to do stretching movements or biceps or triceps curls.  Getting regular physical activity is the key. All you need to do is to fit it in your schedule and just do it regularly three to five times per week.

Portion Distortion vs. Serving Size

Another strategy in preventing heart disease is to keep an eye on portion sizes. The amount of food you eat determines the amount of calories eaten. Eating large amount of food can lead to over eating more fat, sugar, sodium, trans-fat and carbohydrates. Use these strategies to help keep your weight, blood glucose, blood pressure and your cholesterol in check:

• Eat these low calorie foods such as vegetables and fruits. Aim for 3-5 servings of fruits and vegetables per day in your meals and snacks.

• Use a smaller plate to cut down your portion size. A serving size is a specific amount that is measured by ounces, cups or tablespoons. Know the difference of a serving. A serving of meat, fish or chicken is 2 to 3 ounces, or the regular deck of playing card - eye-ball the size and thickness.

• A serving of rice is ½ cup or 1/3 cup pasta.

• You can use measuring cups to tell how much is on your plate.

• Another way to control portions is to use a nine-inch plate, with one half filled with non-starchy vegetables, such as green leafy vegetables, broccoli, green beans, carrots and peppers. Divide the other half of the plate into two and place a portion of lean meat, poultry or fish in one quarter and a whole grain starch food on the other half.

Good to know Carb choices

Good carbohydrate choices

• Brown Rice. Basmati rice
• Whole Grain Pasta
• Whole Wheat Bread
• Root vegetables – yam

These are a few of the many choices that you can use to prevent heart disease. They are small steps but big changes can result. Start making changes gradually. For example, if you only eat one or two servings of fruits and vegetables now, a small change can be to add one more serving to build to the recommended number of servings per day