Focus on Your Heart: Five New Year’s Resolutions to Live Longer

ORLANDO, FL (Ivanhoe Newswire) – Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the US, killing one person every 34 seconds. However, simple lifestyle changes can help you strengthen your heart.

In the new year, there are five easy ways to start taking better care of your heart.

First, follow the 80/20 rule.

“Aim for 80 percent of your foods to be whole,” says Baptist Health holistic cardiologist Mona Shah, MD.

Whole foods have not been processed, refined or added to ingredients. These are fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, meat, fish and eggs.

Another heart-healthy solution is to incorporate 30 minutes of exercise into your daily routine every day.

“Even if that means you walk 30 minutes a day, which is split into 10, 10 and 10,” Shah said.

One recent Harvard review found that walking two and a half hours a week reduced the risk of heart disease by 30 percent.

Also, make a decision to sleep more this year. In one study, people sleeping less than six hours a night were 20% more likely to have a heart attack.

Another solution to consider is aimed at reducing stress levels. Meditation can help, and Mona Shah, MD also recommends keeping a gratitude journal. Every morning, write down three things you are grateful for.

“It releases happiness hormones. Dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin, all these substances that help our arteries, help our blood pressure, improve our heart rate, let us live longer,” Shah said.

The final solution is to give up bad habits such as smoking and drinking alcohol. If you drink, limit your alcohol intake to six to eight ounces a day and give up cigarettes completely. Studies show that smoking is responsible for one out of every four deaths from cardiovascular disease.

Another solution you might want to consider is sitting less. One study found that sitting for eight or more hours a day was associated with a 20 percent increased risk of heart disease or death from any cause than those who sat for only half that time. If you can, use a standing desk or take breaks from sitting during the day.

Copyright 2023 by KSAT – All rights reserved.

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