By Jeff Sheppard 07 Feb 2020 no comment 787 Views

It’s almost Valentine’s Day and there are hearts everywhere, hanging in shop windows and decorating colourful Valentines.

Cardiovascular and heart disease is the number one killer in modern society.

Many risk factors for heart disease are within your control.  Some, like your genetic traits, are not.  But that still leaves you with many things you can do to keep your heart healthy.

Seven Steps to a Healthy Heart

Firstly, don’t smoke.  If you do, make a plan to quit.  Smoking doubles your risk of a heart attack compared to non-smokers.

Secondly, eat a heart-healthy diet. That means more fresh, whole foods and fewer processed foods.  Keep salt and sugar intake low.  Choose healthy oils, like olive oil and oily fish. Minimize partially hydrogenated vegetable oils and trans fats.

Thirdly, exercise regularly. It improves your circulation and keeps your cardiovascular system healthy.

Tailor your exercise to your fitness level. Make sure your activity is vigorous enough that you can’t speak easily while you exercise.  Some people think they are “active,” but barely raise their heart rate.  Remember that what might be a “light walk” for a highly fit person could be a “workout” for someone else, depending on their fitness level.  As your endurance improves, you can go faster and/or farther to challenge yourself.

Keep stress under control. Stress causes the body to react as though it were in danger, raising your blood pressure and increasing your heart rate.  We all experience stress sometimes; problems develop when stress is constant and the body has no time to rest and recover.  Take action to eliminate stressors and prioritize taking time each day to meditate, relax, and sleep.

If you enjoy alcohol, consume it in moderation: no more than two drinks a day for men, or one drink a day for women.  Avoid drinking alcohol every day.  Over-consumption of alcohol puts your heart at risk.

Consume plenty of antioxidants. Vitamin C, vitamin E and beta-carotene are excellent for heart health.

This Valentine’s Day, when you are sharing tokens of love for others, don’t forget to also take some time to care for yourself.

A little effort today can help to keep your heart healthy for a lifetime.

Another important form of self-care is regular chiropractic maintenance.  Seeing your chiropractor for a “tune up” will help you feel your best and stop small problems before they become big and painful.  If we haven’t seen you in some time, call Sheppard Chiropractic Centre at (506) 635-8182 or (506) 847-7172 for an appointment.

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