Your heart is working 24/7/365 to keep you going. We can’t give the little guy a break, but we can make his life easier by slowly changing our unhealthy habits and sustaining them.
According to the CDC, 610,000 people in the U.S. die from heart disease every year, making it the leading cause of death in both men and women. That accounts for 1 in 4 deaths.
Unless you’ve had a severe wake-up call in the form of a cardiovascular event, making big changes can be daunting. Being told “lose weight” and “eat better” isn’t that inspiring but it is still vitally important; so this World Heart Day, we’re giving you some lifestyle advice you can actually put into practice. We’re setting you the challenge of changing something in your life today to help out your heart before you’re in need of specialty care from one of our cardiologists. So here are 3 things you can do to give your heart a helping hand:
1. Explore your favorite district of New York on foot.
Just like any muscle, your heart needs a workout. And as the most important muscle in your body, you owe it that much. You don’t have to spend hours in the gym, you just need to get your blood pumping for 30 minutes a day. Enjoy exploring your neighborhood in the Bronx, get off a couple of stops early on your way to work, take the stairs instead of the elevator. Gradually build small habits into your daily routine. Top tip: Find walking boring? Find an entertaining or interesting podcast to keep you company on your walk.
2. Bean tacos, hold the cheese
Saturated fats are bad news all-round. High consumption leads to weight gain, diabetes, increased cholesterol, and high blood pressure. A diet rich in saturated fats is a time bomb for your heart. Saturated fats are found copiously in meat and dairy. In fact, the only plant-based saturated fats are coconut oil and palm oil. The good news is that healthy (but still flavorful and morish) alternatives to your current diet are out there. Use all the same herbs and spices that you would in your everyday food, but switch in meat for a plant-based alternative. We’re not saying you have to quit these things altogether, just slowly discover and switch in alternatives that you can enjoy equally. Search for “vegan [insert favorite meal here]” and give it a try. It’s certainly better than having to search for “doctor near me”.
3. Make like Abuela and cook from scratch
Processed, prepackaged food is rammed with salt. What we think of as delicious food is often just mediocre food laced with a load of salt. We’re lucky to live in a diverse neighborhood with communities that understand that real flavor comes from herbs and spices. Prioritize cooking from scratch and switch in salt for spices. The best thing to do is quit added salt cold-turkey. At first, it might seem a little bland, but it’s amazing how quickly your palate changes, and within weeks you’ll wonder how you ever stomached so much salt.
So there you go. Just a few tips to help you make positive changes for your heart. If you have a serious concern about your heart health or are in need of specialty care, don’t delay in getting in contact with our team here at BronxDocs. We’re on hand here in the Bronx, New York, with a team of cardiologists to help you.
Call us anytime at (646) 680-5250 or make an appointment with us online.