Unfortunately, today’s fast paced life makes it easy for us to slip in to a very unhealthy routine. We promote happy and healthy hearts at Carter BloodCare and we have some simple tips for you to fit in your busy schedule.
One of the easiest things to improve your heart health is to get at least 30 minutes of exercise, five times a week. Many people may be frightened by the F word, but it is not so scary when playing Frisbee or jogging with your dog around the park for 30 minutes.
This may be easier said than done, but less stress each day can do a wonder for your heart. Of course, not everyone can relax in the same manner. Some may lay in the dark and let the day drift away while others may choose yoga as a way to relax. We suggest trying Oprah’s Meditation Challenge as a new way to relax.
3. Eating Habits
- Light on the Salt – Limit your salt intake 1,500 milligrams a day or less. You can do this by limiting processed foods, cooking without salts and taking it easy on the saltshaker.
- Go Grain – Whole grains such as wild rice, corn tortillas and whole-wheat pasta can help lower cholesterol and blood pressure.
- Produce – Eating 2 ½ cups of vegetables and fruit each day will lower your risk for heart disease, stroke and cancer.
- Decrease Bad Fat – Limit your saturated fat intake by using healthier fats like olive and canola oil to cook with. Also, be sure to choose lean meats such as turkey or chicken. The American Heart Association says this can cut your risk of heart disease in half.
4. Routine Health Exams
- Cholesterol – Check cholesterol levels once every five years after the age of 20.
- Blood Pressure – Check blood pressure every two years. Did you know that you receive a free blood pressure check before your blood donation with Carter BloodCare?
- Diabetes – Diabetes is a leading factor in heart disease. Age 30-45 is the most important age to be checked for diabetes.
Carter BloodCare provides free mini health physicals prior to blood donations. The mini physical includes a screening of blood pressure, pulse, temperature and iron levels. Donors can view their blood pressure results within days of their donation. Schedule your blood donation today by visiting, www.carterbloodcare.org or call 1-800-DONATE-4.