34 THE QUEENS COURIER • HEALTH • JANUARY 2, 2020 FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT WWW.QNS.COM
Five ways to improve your heart health
If you worry that you or someone you
love will get heart disease or even have a
heart attack, it’s understandable.
Heart disease is the leading cause of
death for men and women in the United
States, according to the National Heart,
Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI).
Research shows you can lower your risk,
particularly if you team up with family,
friends or co-workers. Th is kind of social
support may be the key to your success.
To mark American Heart Month,
NHLBI, one of the National Institutes
of Health, is inviting people across the
country to team up and join #OurHearts,
a national heart health initiative that
encourages people to improve heart
“Studies show that having positive, close
relationships and feeling connected to
others benefi ts overall health, blood pressure,
weight and more,” said NHLBI’s Dr.
David Goff , director of cardiovascular sciences.
Consider these fi ve tips that can help
lower your risk of heart disease:
Solution: Move more throughout your
day. Aim for at least 150 minutes each
week of physical activity. Build up to
activity that gets your heart beating faster
and leaves you a little breathless. If you’re
busy, try breaking your daily activity into
Stay motivated: Make walking dates.
Join a pickup soccer or basketball game.
Join a fi tness class with your neighbor. Grab
a loved one and dance in your kitchen.
Risk: An unhealthy diet
Solution: Consider an option like
NHLBI’s Dietary Approaches to Stop
Hypertension (DASH) eating plan, which
is free and scientifi cally proven to lower
high blood pressure and improve cholesterol
Stay motivated: Invite friends to cook
up heart healthy recipes together. Start a
lunch club at work and trade recipe ideas.
Risk: Smoking, even occasionally
Solution: Quitting can be benefi cial to
your overall health, even if you’ve smoked
for years. Set a quit date and let those close
to you know. If you’ve tried quitting in
the past, consider what helped and what
made it harder.
Stay motivated: Ask your family and
friends for support or join a support
group. Find resources and connect with a
trained counselor at 1-800-QUIT-NOW
Risk: Inadequate or poor-quality sleep
Solution: Sleeping 7-8 hours each night
helps improve heart health. Try going to
bed and waking up at the same time each
day. Getting a 30-minute daily dose of
sunlight may also improve sleep.
Stay motivated: Resist that late aft ernoon
nap. Turn off all screens at a set time
nightly. Relax by listening to music, reading
or taking a bath.
Risk: Uncontrolled stress
Solution: To help manage stress, try
relaxation therapy and increase physical
activity. Talk to a qualifi ed mental
health provider or someone you trust.
De-stressing may also help improve sleep.
Stay motivated: Join a friend or family
member in a relaxing activity like walking,
yoga or meditation every day.
— Courtesy of Family Features