Want to keep your heart healthy? Then you need to know the following.
Holly Andersen, director of education and outreach at the Ronald O. Perelman Heart Institute of NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital has offered some easy steps to improve heart health and overall well-being throughout the year.
Step 1: Know your numbers. Your blood pressure, cholesterol and triglyceride levels are the most important numbers you will need to know before you begin on the path to good heart health.
Step 2: Start walking. Exercise is the fountain of youth. A simple 20- to 30-minute walk a few days a week can actually reduce the risk of premature death by more than 50 percent.
Step 3: Laugh out loud. Laughter really is the best medicine. Just 15 minutes of laughter is about equivalent to 30 minutes of aerobic exercise with respect to our cardiovascular health. Laughter has also been linked to the healthy function of blood vessels, an increase of the brain hormones that improve mood, and reduction of pain and anxiety.
Step 4: Focus on your waistline, not your weight. Your waistline is a better measurement of your overall health than your weight because the amount of fat around your waistline is directly linked to high blood pressure and high cholesterol and can place you at increased risk for diabetes.
Step 5: Get a good night's sleep. Sleep is one of the most undervalued elements of our daily routines, but it is absolutely vital to good health. Lack of sleep increases your blood pressure, induces stress, increases your appetite and slows down your metabolism, dampens your mood and decreases your cognition.