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3 Habits For A Healthy Heart

3 Habits For A Healthy Heart

by Tanner Neuberger, PT, DPT, TDN Level 1Leave a Comment

Heart Disease kills between 650,000 and 700,000 people every year. The American Heart Association (AHA) estimates that about 90% of these deaths were preventable through education and action. Having a healthy heart (outside genetic issues) takes work and some thoughtfulness. Here are some healthy habits you can do to get your ticker in shape and potentially add years to your life.

Healthy Habit #1: Exercise More

It’s no surprise that the number one tip for a healthy heart is to exercise. After all, to improve heart function, you have to make the heart muscle work. The AHA recommends 75 minutes of vigorous activity or 150 minutes of moderate activity per week for adults. Vigorous activities can be classified as resistance training, sprinting, HIIT, and other high-intensity movements. Moderate activities are more related to traditional cardio methods such as cycling, jogging, brisk walking, and hiking. Ideally, a person would get a mix of these types of activity throughout the week. Even though this seems like a reasonable amount, only 24% of adults are getting the recommended minutes of activity every week4.

Healthy Habit #2: Improve Your Diet

Switching to more whole foods vs. processed foods in your diet is one of the best actions when trying to be conscious of your heart health. Consuming a diet that is comprised of minimally processed food helps place less stress on the heart. Minimally processed foods are foods that have been altered by processes such as washing, cutting, milling, chopping, etc, and ultra-processed foods are food that have been made from products extracted from foods, with potential of other additives being included. A good example of the difference is chicken breast vs frozen chicken nuggets. Are processed foods always bad for you? That depends, really. While they may be ok to enjoy every once in a while, chronic consumption of them can lead to issues down the line if that’s the majority of your diet, issues such as obesity, hypertension, and insulin resistance.

Healthy Habit #3: Improve Your Sleep

Sleep is the most restorative activity that we can do. No other recovery method can replicate what sleep does for the body. The recommendation is to get at least 7 hours of sleep every night. Not getting enough rest can lead to increased stress, poor eating habits, and decreased desire for physical activity, negatively affecting your heart health5.

We all have the power to change our heart habits for the better. These tips that have been laid out will be a good foundation for you to get started. You might not be perfect with applying all of them, but consistently allowing yourself to focus and make changes for the better will improve your health in the long run.

We have a crisis of inactivity in our country, and this will lead to negative health outcomes down the line. The majority of these can be alleviated by taking care of your heart, you just have to put in the work. If you need help finding the right place to start, or getting situated with a program, reach out to your local Athletico today to set up a free assessment.

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*Per federal guidelines, beneficiaries of plans such as Medicare, Medicaid, Tricare, VHA and other federally funded plans are not eligible for free assessments.

The Athletico blog is an educational resource written by Athletico employees. Athletico bloggers are licensed professionals who abide by the code of ethics outlined by their respective professional associations. The content published in blog posts represents the opinion of the individual author based on their expertise and experience. The content provided in this blog is for informational purposes only, does not constitute medical advice and should not be relied on for making personal health decisions.

6. Bharti N, Hrubeniuk T, Mayo A, Sénéchal M, Bouchard DR. Resistance Training Contribute to the Aerobic Components of an Exercise Session in Adults but not as Much in Older Adults. Int J Exerc Sci. 2017;10(3):406-416. Published 2017 May 1.
7. Juul F, Vaidean G, Parekh N. Ultra-processed Foods and Cardiovascular Diseases: Potential Mechanisms of Action. Adv Nutr. 2021;12(5):1673-1680. doi:10.1093/advances/nmab049

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Exercise and Fitnesshealthy dietheart healthincreased activityresistance training

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