It’s time for New Year resolutions! This year, why not set some goals for how you can improve your heart health? After all, your heart health has the ability to positively impact your overall wellness and quality of life.
Health-related resolutions are by far the most common. Most resolutions are about big picture, vague tasks, such as exercising more or improving your diet.
But those “pie in the sky” type of resolutions aren’t necessarily the ticket to success when it comes to goals. To achieve your resolutions and protect your heart, you want your goals to be smaller, obtainable and realistic.
Make an overarching resolution to improve your heart health, then these simple steps will get you there:
Move your body more.
Simple enough, right? This goal is more attainable than going from no exercise to daily exercise. Remember, it doesn’t have to be all or nothing.
If you’re focused on simply fitting more movement into your everyday routines, you’re becoming a healthier version of yourself, without having to set aside specific time to get it done.
Of course, it’s optimal to be physically active regularly and engaged in more daily movement, like taking the stairs or fidgeting in your chair.
This is a fairly easy thing to do to improve your heart health. Aim to incorporate fatty fish into your diet twice each week.
It isn’t a huge amount of fish—you’re looking at two 4-ounce servings of fatty fish, such as salmon or tuna. These are packed with heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease.
Don’t love fish? Talk with your provider about other ways to get those omega-3s, like flax seed.
Put away the salt shaker.
Most Americans get way more sodium in their diet each day than the recommended maximum of 2,300 milligrams.
Most of the sodium we get comes from processed foods, meaning it’s important to check food labels for sodium and choose foods accordingly. Just because it doesn’t taste salty doesn’t mean it isn’t filled with sodium. Putting away the salt shaker can be a first step toward reducing over all salt intake.
Find other ways to flavor your food, such as herbs or splashes of lemon or other acidic juices.
Take up a hobby.
Doing enjoyable activities, such as reading, crafting, or knitting, is a healthy way to manage stress. These days, most of us are dealing with excess stress, which can be overwhelming and may even be detrimental to heart health.
Find a hobby you love, or reinvest yourself in an old hobby that you haven’t spent time on in a while. While you’ll have to devote a little time, your heart will thank you.
Indulge in some chocolate.
Yes, we said chocolate. In 2022, resolve to eat more dark chocolate, because it’s good for you!
Incorporate small portions of the darkest chocolate that’s palatable to you into your diet. Dark chocolate is packed with heart-healthy flavonoids, which reduce inflammation and decrease your risk of heart disease. Win-win, right?
Floss your teeth.
What do your teeth have to do with your heart health? A lot, actually! There’s a connection between gum disease and heart disease.
So, when you’re planning out easy ways to care for your heart health in 2022, put consistent dental hygiene at the top of the list. Brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing them daily, and having regular dental cleanings can help keep your mouth—and your heart—healthy.
Heart Care For Generations
As the state’s most forward-thinking heart and vascular program, Georgia Heart Institute is reimagining the patient experience, integrating services across all heart and vascular specialties and incorporating innovative breakthroughs into the care our experts provide every day. Ultimately, our impressive team of cardiologists, surgeons and highly-trained specialists is doing whatever it takes to keep patients’ hearts at their healthiest. We’re here to save and improve lives for generations.