Healthy Heart Tips

The following suggestions are small steps that can provide a positive impact on your health:

  • 1. Eat five or more fruits and vegetables each day. They will add nourishment to your diet and create less room for nutrient-empty junk foods.
  • 2. Even ten extra minutes of exercise each day is good for you. A sedentary lifestyle is as bad for you as smoking, so park in the back of the parking lot or take the stairs instead of the elevator—just get up and move!
  • 3. Make sure you receive adequate sleep each night; chronic sleep deprivation has devastating effects on your heart.
  • 4. Don’t worry; be happy (and live longer). Multiple studies have concluded that the happier people are, the less cortisol (the stress-related hormone) they produce. This results in lower blood pressure.
  • 5. Strong social connections can be as beneficial to the heart as smoking cessation. A 2010 joint study found that people with weak social connections had on average 50 percent higher odds of death than people with more solid connections.
  • 6. Laughter truly is the best medicine. Joyous laughter can relax the cardiovascular system. Not only do our brains feel better in the presence of a good laugh—so do our hearts.
  • **These tips are not meant to replace the recommendations of your healthcare professional. Please consult your healthcare provider before making any changes to your routine.