If Cupid aims his arrow at your heart this Valentine’s Day, will he hit a healthy target? The season of heart-shaped boxes is a good time to examine your heart health. We’ve made your checkup simple through something we call “Life’s Simple 7.” These are seven very basic factors and behaviors that have been proven to boost your health.
You can take them in any order you choose. Even doing one or two steps can lead to big results.
Manage your blood pressure
High blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke. It’s known as the “silent killer” because there are usually no symptoms. So it’s important to keep checking it. When your blood pressure stays within a healthy range, the strain on your heart, arteries and kidneys is reduced.
Some kinds of cholesterol can clog your arteries, and clogged arteries lead to heart disease and stroke. What’s the best cholesterol number? That question is tricky. Truly, it depends on a number of health factors, so check in with your health care professional.
Reduce Blood Sugar
Over time, high levels of blood sugar can damage your heart, kidneys, eyes and nerves. If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, check your blood sugar (or glucose) regularly. And check with your health care professional for tips on keeping things in check.
Get up and move! Physical activity is not just fun, it’s good for you. Simply put, physical activity can increase the length and quality of your life.
When you eat a heart-healthy diet, you improve your chances of feeling good and staying fit. For help thinking about the best eating plan for you, check out this site.
Keep your body weight healthy
Losing weight isn’t just about fitting into skinny jeans, it’s about adding years to your life. Shedding unnecessary pounds reduces the burden on your heart, blood vessels and lungs. (And, you usually start feeling better!)
If you don’t smoke, good for you! If you do, please stop today. This can extend your life and keep you around for those you love. It’s been proven: Cigarette smokers have a higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
Are you ready to tackle the Simple 7 checklist?