3 Heart-Healthy Lifestyle Tips for National Heart Month
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Every year, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) recognizes February as National Heart Month, with the goal of encouraging healthy lifestyles to help prevent heart disease, which is the leading cause of death for people in the U.S., according to the CDC. As a fitness company, we strongly believe in creating healthy lifestyle habits, such as exercising regularly and eating a balanced diet. So, in the spirit of National Heart Month, we wanted to share three heart-healthy lifestyle tips.
Pump Up Your Level of Physical Activity
Multiple studies have found routine physical activity can help lower the risk of certain health disorders, including heart disease, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and more. The Physical Activity Guidelines, created by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), say people should aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity, 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity, or a combination of both during each week. Should you meet these guidelines, you would be considered physically active.
The good news, if you’re a 9Rounder, is that completing three of our 30-minute workouts will knock out your suggested amount of vigorous exercise for the week.
Focus on Balanced Nutrition
Along with regular exercise, creating healthier eating habits can also help improve your chances of good heart health. High blood pressure and high cholesterol are two common factors that contribute to heart disease, according to the CDC. In some cases, a healthy diet, especially one that avoids sodium, saturated or trans fats, added sugars, and alcohol, can help lower or prevent high blood pressure and cholesterol.
When it comes to good nutrition, the key is to have a proper balance of macronutrients, AKA proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. You should aim to pick quality foods within each of the groups, such as lean proteins, unsaturated fats, or whole-grain carbohydrates. Along with creating a more balanced diet, you can form a healthy habit of drinking water for hydration, rather than sugary sodas or juices.
Member Tip: Our 9Round Nutrition Guide (found in your online Member Portal) can help you understand how to balance macronutrients and give you tons of tips for healthy eating.
Remove Bad Habits from Your Lifestyle
There are many habits that put additional stress on your body, which can lead to heart troubles. Some of the most recognizable bad habits include smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, and lack of adequate amounts of sleep. If you are prone to some of these bad habits, then aiming to remove them from your lifestyle could help you improve your heart health.
According to the NHLBI, smoking is one of the biggest risk factors for heart disease, as the chemicals in tobacco can harm your blood cells and damage the function of your blood vessels. The organization also states that “ongoing sleep deficiency is linked to an increased risk of heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and stroke.” As for excessive alcohol consumption, Johns Hopkins Medicine tells us that heavy drinking can be linked to high blood pressure, heart failure, and stroke, as well as other major health problems. If you struggle with any of these bad habits, then this month is the perfect time to start making a healthy lifestyle change.
Building a healthier lifestyle takes time and effort, but the benefits far outweigh the challenges. We hope these three tips can help you find ways to improve your heart health. As we mentioned, increased physical activity is one of our favorite strategies to help you work toward improving your heart health. If you’re looking for a new exercise program, you can try 9Round with a free introductory workout using the link below!
Please Note: This information is not intended to be medical advice. Always consult a healthcare professional before starting any exercise or nutrition program.