Interested in keeping your ticker healthy for 2018 and beyond? Check out these six heart healthy tips from PACE Cardiology’s Dr. Brad Dibble.
“Stress can wreak havoc on your heart and the rest of your body,” says Dr. Dibble. “Remember to carve out time daily to enjoy activities that relax and calm you.” Ideas include: taking a break from the computer or phone, reading, gardening, taking a walk in the woods, enjoying your favourite exercise or meditating.
No matter how much exercise you get, recent research has suggested that staying seated for long periods of time is bad for your health. “Try to move throughout the day,” says the cardiologist. “Park farther away from work, go for a walk at lunch, and take the stairs, and try to get up and move at least once every hour.”
Get Your Zzzzzs
Make sleep a priority. “If you don’t sleep enough, you may be at a higher risk for cardiovascular disease no matter your age or how healthy your lifestyle,” he explains. Try for 7 to 8 hours of sleep most nights. If you have sleep apnea, you should be treated as this condition is linked to heart disease and arrhythmias.
Eat Healthy Foods
Eating well is the cornerstone of a heart-healthy lifestyle. It can help with your weight, blood pressure and cholesterol. “Just remember the basics: limit saturated fat, cut the salt, eat more fruits and veggies, choose whole grains, and limit alcohol,” he says.
Getting and staying active can reduce your risk of developing heart disease. It can also be a great mood booster, stress buster and help with weight management. Try for 30 minutes a day. If you can’t commit to a regular exercise program, fit it in when you can: 10 minutes of brisk walking, 10 minutes of dancing around the kitchen, and 10 minutes of playing hoops with your kids add up to 30 minutes a day.
Quit Smoking & Avoid Second-Hand Smoke
“The harmful effects of smoking on overall health are well documented, but remember to avoid second-hand smoke too,” says Dr. Dibble. Studies show that the risk of developing heart disease is about 25 to 30 percent higher for people who are exposed to second-hand smoke at home or work.
With over 25 cardiologists on staff, PACE has offices in Newmarket, Barrie and Orillia (echo lab only). For more information call 1-888-662-0680 or visit www.pace-cardiology.com.