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7 Ways to Protect the Heart and Boost Your Health

By Sandy Schroeder

Most of us welcome new ways to protect our health, but the simplest methods may be the best.

The American Heart Association suggests we know our health numbers and key in on major risk factors to protect the heart. Many of these steps also apply to overall health. As you consider the checkpoints, you may want to launch a long-term health plan.

Key Checkpoints

Maintaining regular checkups and working on health numbers is key.

Stop smoking – The heart, lungs and back all benefit when you stop smoking. At the same time, you will reduce cancer risk.

Lower blood sugar level – Many of our daily foods are converted to glucose that the body uses for energy, but high levels of blood sugar can damage the kidneys, eyes, nerves and heart. 

Manage cholesterol – Talk with your doctor about the latest views on cholesterol. High cholesterol creates plaque that can clog arteries and lead to a stroke or heart disease.

Control blood pressure – High blood pressure is a major risk factor for stroke, heart disease and kidney problems. Check yours with your doctor and discuss ways to lower it, if needed.

Keep moving – Improve your quality of life and your chances for a longer life with daily physical activity.

Eat healthy – Fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meats, fish poultry, low fat dairy, nuts, and healthy oils fight heart disease and maintain health.

Stay trim – Maintaining a healthy weight reduces the load on the lungs, heart, blood vessels and joints. It can also help you lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of diabetes.

Long-Term Health Plan

Start with your health profile and make it better.

Daily mation – Try for 30 minutes of doctor-approved physical activity every day. Use walking as a base, logging in 15 minutes in the morning, and 15 more in the afternoon or evening. Add gardening, biking, swimming, or your favorite sports. 

Reduce stress – Use exercise to release stress, and try to resolve family, job or financial pressures. Explore tai chi, yoga, qi-gong or mindfulness meditation to release tension. Music, art, humor or hands-on hobbies may help, too. Create an outdoor retreat on the balcony, patio or in the garden for quiet breaks.

Strengthen connections – More and more, doctors and psychologists are encouraging us to shore up our interactions with family and friends, reach out to help others in need, develop new hobbies apart from electronic connections, and practice gratitude.

However your health numbers and current habits stand, keep checking in with your doctor, and working on a daily plan that revolves around your health.

To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Fayetteville, N.C.

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