According to the leading cardiologist, the favorite resolutions are those related to your health. Losing weight, a better diet, more exercises are some of the noble pursuits. However, for most people, these grand January gestures will end in an unused gym membership in March. But this doesn’t have to be the case since with a few tweaks your decision to invest in your own health can pay dividends all the year round and even longer.
Let us now check out five resolutions to be good to your heart:
Focus on activity, not just exercise
Most people believe that the only way to help their heart is by doing cardio at a gym. The truth is that the heart begins to see some benefit when your heart rate increases by only 20 to 30% above the baseline. Small bursts of activity throughout the day help the heart even if you don’t sustain the activity for 20 to 30 minutes straight. Biking, running, swimming and brisk walking are great exercises. If you are not able to do these, then small changes such as parking at the far end of the lot or taking the stairs instead of the elevator at work will do wonders for your heart. There are high chances that you will be still doing these things the next time the New Year’s resolutions roll out.
Make better food choices
Often people ask the cardiologist which diet is the best. The truth is that any diet will likely help you to lose weight in short term that is because all the diets make you pay more attention to what you eat. Most of the diets out there will not help you to keep the weight off long term because the extreme changes in the food habits are not sustainable.
The good news is that if you are searching for a diet which will help your heart then victory is the journey and not the destination. If you choose to eat non-potato vegetables and more fruits, less pork, beef and lamb and you will stick to your plan throughout the year then you are helping your heart even if your waistline never changes.
Consider what touch point you need with your doctor
In this period of high-tech medicine, you don’t need to see your doctor as often as possible. For most healthy people, an annual physical exam is not a requirement; however, there is a value to check in with your doctor. Ensure you are up to date on the preventive care measures as per your gender, age and health history. Also, check whether you are taking the right medications and review for any nagging symptoms. All this can go a long way to protect you from worst consequences of the heart disease. Resolve to check the online patient portal if your doctor offers one, send an email or schedule a phone call to make an appointment.
Over the years multiple studies have shown that extreme stress or emotional distress can trigger a heart attack in the same way as extreme exercise can. It can trigger the flight or fight response which surges the adrenaline to make your heart pump faster and harder the same way as the vigorous exercises. In vulnerable patients, the adrenaline surge can stimulate a clot formation in one of the arteries to your heart thus result in a heart attack.
Try isolating one trigger and resolve to stress less in that area such as if your children are the source of your stress then resolve to yell less, if work is trigger then focus on sources that burden your job and try alleviating them. Treat stress reduction as the prescription for the heart and ask for help.
Choosing to be kind is a simple change which needs no cost and minimal effort so resolve to be kind to your heart by being kind.