Have you heard the saying “a healthy heart is a happy heart”? We think it’s a good motto to live by! Since February is American Heart Month, our Bedford TX doctors (locations also in Lewisville & Benbrook, TX) want to raise awareness about heart health and encourage you and your family to adopt healthy lifestyles. Not to scare you, but heart disease is a leading cause of death around the world. The good news is there are proactive steps you can take to care for your heart. Let’s review some action items your family can incorporate into your everyday lives to improve heart health.
Be Conscious of Your Diet
Don’t be discouraged by the word “diet.” A well-balanced diet plays a big part in maintaining heart health- which you probably could have guessed. Focus on incorporating fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats into your meals. Try to stay away from the fast food and late-night ice cream runs to the refrigerator, even though we are all guilty of that! Consider meal planning and involving the whole family in preparing recipes, making it fun for everyone. You will be surprised by the number of great substitutes for your comfort food cravings. Here are a few of our favorites:
- Greek yogurt in place of sour cream
- Carb balance tortillas
- Hearts of Palm, spaghetti squash, or chickpea noodles instead of traditional pasta
- Salt-free seasonings
- Baked veggie fries instead of french fries
- Cauliflower crust pizza
The list could go on! Let us know what your family tries out.
Fit, Fun, Family Time
Yes, you can be fit AND have fun doing it AND incorporate the whole family! Regular physical activity is key to a healthy heart. Encourage your family to engage in activities that get the heart pumping, like:
- Going for a walk on your neighborhood trail
- Attending your local community gym or YMCA
- Fitness classes- Zumba, cycling, cardio, etc.
Try and shoot for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week. You and your family will feel more energized, entertained, and have a new way to bond without staring at a screen!
Check-in on the Check-ups
Regularly scheduled health check-ups are super important for early detection and prevention of heart-related issues. Early identification of potential risks allows for quick interventions and better management of heart health. So, don’t skip those appointments; they’re not just a to-do on your calendar; they’re your heart’s way of saying, “Hey, let’s keep this relationship healthy and strong!”
Stress– how many times a week do we say this word? Stress can have negative effects on heart health. Teach your family stress management techniques like deep breathing exercises, mindfulness, and meditation. Your home plays a part in this as well, create a calm and supportive environment at home that is always welcoming to communication. Take time out of your day for activities that focus on relaxation, like reading, listening to music, watching a feel-good movie, or cooking up your favorite healthy meal!
Say NO to all Smoke
Smoking is a major risk factor for heart disease. If any family members smoke, consider taking steps toward quitting. Additionally, avoid exposure to secondhand smoke, as it can also contribute to heart-related problems. Create a smoke-free environment within your home to protect the health of all family members.
American Heart Month is a reminder for families to prioritize heart health. By making conscious choices in diet, physical activity, stress management, and creating a heart-healthy environment, you can contribute to a healthier and happier family life. Let this month be a starting point for positive changes that will benefit your family’s hearts for years to come. Remember, a healthy heart is a happy heart! Schedule your appointment today at one of our locations in Bedford, Benbrook or Lewisville, TX, we look forward to seeing you and your family!