Put your heart into...
Plan to eat heart healthy
Put together an eating plan that offers the balance of calories that is right for you, including vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and low/fat-free dairy products. The number of calories you need each day depends on your age and how physically active you are. Add seafood, lean meats, poultry, beans, eggs, and unsalted nuts for protein. Limit saturated and trans fats, cholesterol, sodium (salt), and added sugars. Grill, steam, or bake instead of frying and flavor with spices, not sauces.
Changing your perceptions of how and what you eat really helps. Use smaller plates to help limit portion sizes. Chew slowly and really think about textures and flavors as you eat.
Choose healthy snacks
Enjoy treats with fewer calories that fit into your daily eating plan—like a cup of red seedless grapes or a small banana, a cup of cherry tomatoes or five red pepper rings, or a half cup of low/fat-free yogurt.
Dine out the healthy way
You can eat healthy in restaurants. Control portion size by eating half your entrée, and take the rest home for another meal. Limit calories by choosing foods that are broiled, baked, or roasted. Ask for low-sodium options from the menu, and leave off or ask for butter, gravy, sauces, or salad dressing on the side.
Find heart healthy menus
How you eat day after day makes a real difference in your health over time. Take a look at how you’re currently eating and compare it with Keep the BeatTM heart healthy recipes.
Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of American women, and physical inactivity is one of several major risk factors. So put your heart into getting active. Here are 5 tips to get you going.
You don’t have to spend all day at the gym
Aim for a total of 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity each week— spending at least 10 minutes at a time. This level of activity can reduce your risk for heart disease and your chances of developing other risk factors, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and being overweight. Other lifestyle benefits include providing energy, reducing stress, and building confidence.
There are no good excuses
You can get active throughout the day. Take walks at work instead of coffee breaks, or just do more of what you already love—biking, dancing, and gardening all count.
A complete program has three types of activity
1) Aerobic activity like brisk walking, jogging, or biking gets your heart rate up. 2) Resistance training (like doing pushups) firms, strengthens, and tones muscles. 3) Flexibility exercises stretch and lengthen muscles so you’re more flexible— think yoga or tai chi.
Choose activities that suit your style
While some people like to exercise alone, others benefit from the support of group classes or team sports. Whether indoors or outdoors, find what works for you and get your most vigorous physical activity at the time of day you feel most energetic, so you’ll stick with it.
Once you get active, make sure you stay active
If you get bored with an activity, try something new by joining a gym or the YMCA. Set short- and long-term goals to become more physically active, and plan ahead by scheduling your physical routines into your day—that way, you’ll make it a priority.