4 Heart Healthy Habits You Can Start Today
Dr. Matthew Wilson | Schneck Primary Care - February 23, 2021

4 Heart Healthy Habits You Can Start Today

Everything you do comes from your heart. And while that might sound like catchy wisdom, it’s a
summary of how your body works - which is why taking care of your heart is crucial to your
health.

Heart healthy habits are exactly what they sound like: things you routinely do to keep your heart
functioning as it should. Factors like your cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and stress
management all contribute to heart health. And while some of those factors are out of your
control - say, if bad cholesterol runs in your family - you still have the power to positively impact
your health.

“Small changes can add up to large improvements in health,” says Dr. Matthew Wilson, a
physician at Schneck Primary Care in Seymour. “The sooner you can start making healthy
changes, the sooner your heart and general health will improve and you will likely have a good
sense of well-being.”

These four heart healthy habits are all things you can start doing today. Your body will be glad
you did.

1. Do something active

Cardiovascular exercise (more simply, cardio) is anything that increases your heart rate and raises
blood flow throughout the body. This could be anything from a morning jog to taking the stairs
instead of an elevator; it all depends on your fitness level. Whether you do it for five minutes or
30, if it’s something that works for you, it’s good for your cardiovascular health.

2. Swap out one meal

...for a plant-based or lighter meal instead. Try chicken instead of red meat or carbs in the form of
whole grains. A healthy diet can be as simple as making a few changes and adding more fruits
and vegetables. You just have to choose to make that change (a few times per week).

3. Aim for a healthy weight

Being overweight increases your risk of heart disease, so aiming for a healthy weight can
improve your heart health as well. However, weight loss is less about the numbers and more
about how you get there. Yes, it’s important to have a goal weight - and if you have one in mind,
go for it! But reaching and maintaining your target weight will largely depend on those two habits
mentioned above, and how you make them work for your lifestyle.

4. Resist the unhealthy urges

The CDC says that tobacco and alcohol use can increase a person’s risk of heart disease. Both
substances will slow your body down, but resisting the urge to smoke or drink is no small task.
Sometimes it’s as simple as distracting yourself, and other times you may need to seek
professional help. Any step you take to resist those urges will be good for your heart, and you
can start today.

Your healthy heart starts here.

Habits can be broken and formed at any point throughout your lifetime; as Dr. Wilson says, “it’s
better late than never!” There’s no time like the present - especially if the cause is as important as
your heart. You can start today with small changes. For more tips or assistance, get in touch with
us today
.