This conversation about heart-healthy lifestyle tips has been sponsored by St. Joseph® Low Dose Aspirin. All opinions are my own.
Last fall, I got a frantic call from my father. My mother had been taken to the emergency room with heart problems. I flew home the next day and things were touch-and-go for several days. Thankfully, she recovered enough strength for a heart valve replacement. After months of physical therapy and recovery, she is doing significantly better. It was an eye-opening event that made me realize how vitally important heart health really is. Especially since I found out that her heart problems are hereditary.
You can rest assured, that I am adopting a number of heart healthy lifestyle tips from now on. Want to keep your heart healthy along with me? These lifestyle changes, along with St. Joseph® Low Dose Aspirin, may be a great place to start. Aspirin is not appropriate for everyone, so be sure to talk to your doctor before you begin an aspirin regimen.
Heart Healthy Lifestyle Tips
How do you keep your heart healthy? Well, you may need to change some of your day to day habits. These heart healthy lifestyle tips that anyone can benefit from as they age:
- Eat healthy. What foods are good for your heart? I will cover this in more detail below!
- Get active. Even if all you can manage is a walk around the block, just turn off the TV and put on your walking shoes for better health!
- Stay at a healthy weight. Carrying around extra weight is a risk to your health. Talk to your doctor about what your target weight should be.
- Quit smoking. This is vital for heart health. Smoking is a habit you definitely need to quit!
- Control your cholesterol and blood pressure. High cholesterol and high blood pressure are both serious risk factors for heart attacks.
- Drink alcohol in moderation. You don’t need to give up alcohol completely but keep it to a very moderate amount to improve your heart health.
- Manage stress. Stress is seriously bad for your heart because it raises blood pressure. Adopt a more mindful approach to life. Try yoga or meditation. Eliminate as much stress in your life as you can for improved heart health.
And for some others, the addition of a doctor-directed low dose aspirin regimen can also provide other benefits. Talk to your doctor about if this may be beneficial for you!
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Is Aspirin a Good Choice for Heart Health?
A low dose aspirin regimen may be something you should consider for your heart health. While heart problems can have many causes, they often result from plaque buildup in the arteries which can lead to the formation of blood clots and damage to the heart muscle.. Aspirin works to help thin the blood and hopefully reduce the risk of such blood clots and the potential for a heart attack.
Recently, there have been changes in recommendations about daily aspirin usage. But, before you stop, start or change your aspirin regimen, be sure to speak with your doctor about whether an aspirin regimen is right for you, especially if you have already suffered from a heart attack in the past.
If your doctor DOES recommend taking low dose aspirin, St. Joseph® Low Dose Aspirin is available right off the shelf at all major retailers. There are coupons available on the website here so you can save some money on your next purchase! For additional information, visit www.stjosephaspirin.com.
Aspirin may also save your life when taken during a suspected heart attack so it is good to keep it on hand just in case. You may want to discuss this with your doctor.
In the event of a suspected heart attack, immediately call 9-1-1 and chew or crush and swallow aspirin as directed by a doctor.
What foods make your heart stronger?
Eating the right foods for heart health means putting down the cookies and picking up some fresh produce. My parents have had to make massive changes to the way they eat. Their traditional standard American diet is high in fat and salt and low in nutritional value.
I took my dad grocery shopping while my mom was in the hospital and showed him how to read nutrition labels. In addition, I bought them a heart healthy cookbook for Christmas. As a result of these two changes, they are on their way to a more heart healthy lifestyle. What foods are good for your heart? Try a few of these:
- Leafy Green Vegetables. Spinach, kale, and other ‘power greens’ are great for heart health.
- Whole Grains. Whole grains include all three nutrient-rich parts of the grain: germ, endosperm and bran. That means brown rice and whole wheat bread rather than white rice and bread.
- All sorts of berries are loaded with antioxidants for heart health.
- These tasty little gems are loaded with ‘good fats’ for a healthier heart.
- Fatty Fish and Fish Oil. Choose salmon rather than trout, although all seafood is really a great choice for a healthy diet.
- Toss nuts into everything from trail mix to oatmeal. They are loaded with healthy fats.
- And no, not just coffee beans! Beans are a great heart healthy choice and help you reduce your meat consumption.
- Dark Chocolate. This is one of those hearth healthy lifestyle tips that I can totally get behind. Eat more dark chocolate!
Heart Healthy Recipes
Chocolate Dipped Apricots Recipe is a Deliciously Healthy Dessert!
Sweet Chili Alaska Salmon Bowl Recipe with Brown Rice
Homemade Hummus Dip Recipe for a Delicious Healthy Lunch!
Why is heart health so important?
I can tell you honestly that heart health is important if you want to live a full and happy life. And it’s so important to have regular check-ins with your doctor, no matter your age!
Apparently, my mom was struggling with day-to-day life for months without telling me. Living so far from family means I can’t see these things. And while my dad tried to encourage her to talk to her doctor, she refused.
Poor heart health almost took my mom from this world far too soon. And you can rest assured that I have spoken with her about adopting a heart healthy lifestyle. She has discussed diet, exercise and the potential benefits of low dose aspirin therapy with her doctor and is making great strides now that she understands how important a healthy heart is!
Remember, speak with your doctor about your overall health and the potential benefits of a daily low dose aspirin regimen.
Is heart health something YOU are concerned with?
Diane has a Bachelor’s degree in Microbiology with a Minor in Health Management and Policy. She spent many years working in cancer research, academics, and biotechnology. Concern over the growing incidence of human disease and the birth of her children led her to begin living a more natural life. She quickly realized that the information she was learning along the way could be beneficial to many others and started blogging as a way to share this knowledge with others. While passionate about health and the environment she can’t quite give up her favorite Cheetos and Diet Coke! Learn more about her HERE.