Trying to live your heart healthiest life? Here’s a recap of what a heart health day looks like:
- 6 AM: Eat oatmeal. The heart healthy breakfast has long been touted as a high fiber heart healthy favorite by doctors, but now studies indicate that eating oatmeal may go beyond the fiber benefits. Seems the bioactive compounds found in oats may provide additional cardio protective benefits helping you ward off heart disease.
- 7AM: Workout. Morning workouts can be beneficial for heart health. A study from Appalachian State University found that found that patients who exercise in the morning, specifically at 7 a.m., experienced a ten percent reduction in their blood pressure. In fact, patients with coronary heart disease not only benefit from morning workouts but also show improved tolerance towards depression and have better quality of life.
- 10AM: Snack on an apple. While several tasty snacks like nuts and yogurt are also heart healthy, an apple may be the way to keep the cardiologist away. Seems apples are associated with a lower risk of death from both coronary heart disease and cardiovascular disease in the Iowa Women’s Health Study, which tracked 34,000-plus women for nearly 20 years. What’s more, researchers found that frequent apple eaters had the lowest risk of suffering strokes compared with non-apple eaters. What makes the fall fruit so special? Strong antioxidant flavonoid compounds found in apples—like quercetin– may preventing “bad” LDL cholesterol from triggering events that send plaque buildup into arteries and cause inflammation.
- 12PM: Eat 3 ounce of fish 2-3 times per week. Fatty fish – salmon, mackerel, halibut, trout, sardines, and anchovies are high in omega-3 fatty acids. “These heart healthy fats help reduce LDL cholesterol (often referred to as “bad” cholesterol because it may contribute to atherosclerosis – plaque forming in the lining of our arteries) and may increase HDL cholesterol (often called “good” cholesterol because it helps our bodies remove LDL cholesterol from the bloodstream thereby reducing risk of atherosclerosis),” says Neal Malik, DrPH, MPH, assistant professor at the School of Natural Health Arts & Sciences at Bastyr University, California.
- 2PM: Take the Stairs. Stairs burn twice as many calories as walking. Regular stair climbing reduces your risk of premature death by 15 percent. The Harvard Newsletter says to take stairs whenever you can if you have a choice between them and an elevator. In fact, climb a few flights then get on the elevator. A Harvard Alumni Study found that men who average at least eight flights a day enjoy a 33 percent lower mortality rate than men who are sedentary.
- 5-7PM: Eat a Mediterranean Dinner. The Mediterranean diet, characterized by a high consumption of vegetables, fruits and olive oil with a moderate intake of protein, is the most heart healthy way to eat. Studies show this diet may reduce heart attack risk. Try tuna with artichokes, olives and tomatoes along with a whole grain roll.
- 10PM: Schedule a healthy7-8 hours of sleep per night, says Adam Splaver, MD, board certified in cardiology and internal medicine and co-founder of NanoHealth Associates, a practice that explores the molecular level of cardiovascular disease. What’s more, if you snore and haven’t been checked for sleep apnea, the stoppage of breathing while you sleep, alert your doctor right way. A study of over 6,000 patient with Obstructive Sleep Apnea, had a higher risk for cardiovascular events.
This is just one day in the life of your heart, on how to keep a healthy heart. Make everyday heart healthy.