Published on May 13, 2019
3 easy steps for better heart health
Odds are you’re already familiar with the advice around heart health. Watch your weight. Don’t smoke.
Exercise more. Sounds easy enough right? Oh, if only it was that simple…
When it comes to your heart’s health, a huge lifestyle overhaul can be intimidating. The good news is they’re not always necessary. Small changes can have a significant impact over time—it’s all about staying consistent.
Here are three simple tips on things you can start to do every day to help your heart stay healthy and happy.
1. Take a 10-minute walk
If you don’t exercise, a brisk walk is a great way to get started. If you do exercise, it’s still important to keep moving throughout the day. Parking farther away from the office, walking with a colleague over lunch hour or taking an evening lap around the neighborhood are all great ways to work some extra walking time into your routine. According to the Centre for Disease Control (CDC), in addition to moving more throughout the day, adults should aim to get at least 30 minutes of exercise five days a week1.
2. Eat one extra fruit or vegetable each day
A healthy diet isn’t just good for your waistline. Fruits and vegetables are packed with heart-healthy nutrients. They’re also generally low in calories, fat and sodium. All good things when it comes to cardiovascular health. Try experimenting with different types of fruits and vegetables and see which ones are most natural for you to work into your existing routine. Keep them in plain sight in your fridge or on your kitchen counter so you’ll remember to eat them while they’re fresh.
3. Go to bed 30 – 60 mins earlier
Sleep is an essential part of keeping your heart healthy. In fact, chronic sleep deprivation can put you at a higher risk for cardiovascular disease regardless of your other health habits. Try to get 7 to 8 hours of sleep most nights. The Mayo Clinic recommends to limit the difference in your sleep schedule on weeknights and weekends by no more than one hour2. Being consistent reinforces your body's sleep-wake cycle2. Avoiding artificial light in the hours leading up to bedtime can help you to fall asleep faster and enjoy a better-quality sleep2.
Bonus tip: Ask your doctor how often you should get your heart checked and put a calendar reminder in your phone. Regular physical exams, as well as any blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol checks are all an essential part of proactive heart health.
- Move More; Sit Less. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/basics/adults/index.htm. Published 2018. Accessed September 4, 2021.
- 6 steps to better sleep. Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/sleep/art-20048379. Published 2017. Accessed September 4, 2021.