Welcome to Stockton Cardiology! Here in our news feed, we’ll be posting information and articles surrounding the realm of heart health. As your cardiologist team, it’s our duty to keep your heart healthy. That’s why we provide a vast variety of cardiology services. It’s also why we’ve teamed up with a variety of local hospitals to provide additional care. At the end of the day, that’s what it all comes down to: Care. We care about our clients; we strive to provide the best health care to ensure that you can lead a happy, healthy lifestyle. That’s why we pioneered Stockton Cardiology right here in Stockton, and that’s why we bring you these continual articles. We want to ensure that you’re informed about health.
Today, we’re going to take the opportunity here in our inaugural article to talk about some steps you can take every day to ensure that your heart stays healthy (that’s a theme we’ll come back to often). Here are a few simple steps you can take every day to keep your heart, and your body, healthy!
Monitor Your Diet
Everyone says it, and it’s true: You are what you eat! Be mindful of your diet to support your heart. In general, you’ll want to limit saturated fats in your diet. Also, cut back on salt. Amp up your intake of proteins, and be sure to opt for plenty of grains every day. Keep an eye on the nutrition facts on your food sources. We’ll delve a little deeper into a heart-healthy diet in upcoming blogs.
Regular exercise gets the blood flowing and it gets the heart pumping. If you’re healthy enough to exercise regularly, try to knock out some cardiovascular exercise. In order to promote “overall cardiovascular health,” the American Heart Association recommends that individuals are physically active for the following durations:
- “At least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity at least 5 days per week for a total of 15 OR
- At least 25 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity at least 3 days per week for a total of 75 minutes; or a combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity aerobic activity AND
- Moderate- to high-intensity muscle-strengthening activity at least 2 days per week for additional health benefits.”
Find a workout routine that works best for you, your current health, and your heart – and stick to it!
Get the Right Amount of Sleep
Get plenty of sleep to reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease. Sleeping too little can significantly increase your chances of contracting a heart disease. According to the European Heart Journal, those who are short on sleep can have a “48% increased risk of developing or dying from coronary heart disease (CHD) […] and a 15% greater risk of developing or dying from stroke during this same time.”
On the flip side, you don’t want to get too much sleep. The same source noted, “long sleepers – those who averaged nine or more hours a night – also showed a 38% increased risk of developing or dying from CHD and a 65% increased risk of stroke.”
Shoot for about eight hours of sleep per night, and talk with your doctor to determine the best sleep cycle for your lifestyle.
Kick the Cigarettes
Okay, we’ve all heard it. It’s no new news. But it deserves mentioning once again here. Don’t smoke. Smoking cigarettes wreaks havoc on your body and it wreaks havoc on your cardiovascular health. According to the West Virginia Department of Health and Resources, “Thirty percent of all heart disease deaths are caused by cigarette smoking.” Alongside damaging your lungs and the rest of your body, cigarette smoking damages the heart. Kick the habit.
Stress just isn’t good for the ticker. Think about all the movies and commercials that feature a guy clutching his chest due to the stresses of his day-to-day life. These allusions to real life heart attacks aren’t inaccurate; it’s important for your heart health to stay relaxed. Be mindful of how you feel at work. Take breaks throughout the day to get outside and go for a walk. Be sure to breathe deep, full, breaths. Get a massage on occasion. Drink tea. Exercise. Do what you can to mitigate stress and partake in plenty of activities that help you to relax. Your heart will thank you.
Drink Alcohol in Moderation
While the occasional glass of wine won’t hurt your heart – in fact it may be helpful in some cases. Regular alcohol intake can harm the heart. Regular drinking can cause deterioration of the heart muscle, and it may result in cardiomyopathy (or heart muscle disease). Binge drinking can cause further problems, including arrhythmia and heart murmurs. Moderate your alcohol intake to mitigate the harmful effects it may have on your heart.
Your Stockton Cardiologists
Need further advice on heart health? Get a consultation from your local cardiologist here at Stockton Cardiology. We’re here to promote your heart health and a healthy lifestyle! Get in touch with us today to get started. We have cardiology offices in Stockton, Tracy, Manteca, and San Andreas.