Eat Better, Move More: Top Tips for Heart Health

Eat Better, Move More: Top Tips for Heart Health

A healthy diet and lifestyle are your best weapons in the fight against heart disease. Following guidelines from the American Heart Association can help you make smart choices to benefit your heart and overall health. Here are a few of our favorite tips for eating less and moving more.

5 Tips to Healthy Eating

Eating a healthy diet is easier than you might think. In addition to limiting your sodium and sugar intake, add these simple healthy eating habits to your daily life. Gradually introducing them over the next few weeks will help you set healthier habits for life!

  1. Eat more fruits and vegetables. If you consume a 2,000 calorie diet, try to get 4-5 servings each of fruits and vegetables each day. (Tip: vegetable or 100% fruit juices count!)
  2. Eat more whole-grains. Like fruits and vegetables, whole-grain foods are low in saturated fat and cholesterol, but rich in fiber. (Tip: whole-grain foods include whole-wheat bread, brown rice and whole-grain cereal.)
  3. Cut the fat. Limit how much fat or oil you use in cooking, and use liquid vegetable oils in place of solid fats. (Tip: liquid vegetable oils include olive, canola, corn and safflower oil.)
  4. Eat more chicken, fish and beans for protein. In general, skinless poultry, fish and vegetable protein (such as beans) are lower in saturated fat and cholesterol than other meats. (Tip: save the beef, pork and lamb for special occasions.)
  5. Read nutrition labels. Food labels provide information to help you make better food choices. Learn what information to look for and how to find it quickly and easily. (Tip: limit sodium, saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol.)

5 Tips for Getting Active

You don't have to train for hours every day in the gym to help your heart. Just 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise, 5 days a week will do.

Take the first step — start with walking! It's easy and it works. Here are some tips to get started:

  1. Dress for success. Make sure you wear proper walking shoes and comfortable clothes that are appropriate for the weather or location.
  2. Start slowly. You can gradually build up to 30 minutes per day by doing three 10-minute walks per day or doing the full 30 minutes every-other-day. Keep adding until you feel ready to commit to 30-minute chunks, five days a week.
  3. Schedule time. Exercise at the same time of day so it becomes a regular part of your lifestyle. For example, walk before work or on your lunch break, Monday through Friday.
  4. Make it fun! As a friend to join you on your walk or listen to some inspiring music to keep you going. Or watch your favorite 30-minute show on TV while on the treadmill to make the time fly.
  5. Track and celebrate success. Keep a record of your activities and reward yourself at special milestones with something you like. Nothing motivates like success!

Visit StartWalkingNow.org to find tools and resources to get you on the right path to a healthier lifestyle.

Thanks to our partner, the American Heart Association, for the content of this article. For more heart-healthy nutrition information, please visit: www.heart.org.

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