Researchers at Harvard say that small health improvements are an important part of heart disease prevention. Small steps, they say, are the key to succeeding at improving heart health. Improve your heart health with these tips:
- Use those muscles. Lifting small objects, like a bag of pet food, is a great way to tone arm muscles. Incremental movements build strength and may motivate you to later join a gym and increase the weights you’re able to lift.
- Take short walks. A short, brisk walk is a great way to energize your body and get it used to short bursts of exercise.
- Go to the dentist. Regular professional cleanings and taking good care of your teeth at home are linked to a healthier heart.
- Watch the liquid calories. Soda and other sweetened drinks are laden with added calories. Swapping for water flavored with fruit, or low sugar alternatives, could save 100 calories a day.
- Get nutty! Snacking on nuts, like walnuts or almonds, is great for heart health. Try a handful instead of chips or candy.
- Breathe. The practice of slow and deep breathing, even if only for a few minutes a day, can help lower blood pressure. Set a reminder to breathe on your phone to keep you on track.
- Eat an extra serving of fruit or vegetables. Just one extra portion of fruit or vegetable a day can help your whole body!
- Limit red meat. Swapping meat with fish once a week can benefit your heart and brain.
- Eat more fiber. Foods like whole grain cereals, barley, spinach, pears, kidney beans, and prunes are packed with fiber which can help prevent heart disease.