How often do you think about your heart? Unless you’re doing some strenuous exercise, the answer is very likely “not at all.” But all day, every day, your heart is hard at work, circulating the blood through your body three times every minute. If your heart is damaged because of heart disease, it has to work harder to pump the same amount of blood. Luckily, it’s easy to make small changes that can help keep your heart in tip-top shape:
- Eat two servings of salmon per week
Salmon is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, which decrease triglyceride levels, slow the growth of plaque in the arteries, lower blood pressure, and decrease the risk of abnormal heartbeats that can lead to sudden death.
Plus, the lean protein in salmon provides long-lasting energy and can help you maintain a healthy weight. Chicken of the Sea salmon products are an easy way to get the recommended amount of omega-3s. Get started with these delicious and heart healthy recipes.
- Exercise regularly
You don’t have to train for a marathon to do your heart good. The American Heart Association recommends at least 150 minutes per week of moderate exercise (think 30 minutes a day, five days a week). Do things you enjoy and that get your body moving, like walking, playing sports, or dancing.
- Manage stress
Stress can lead to unhealthy lifestyle choices, while these healthy habits can help you deal more effectively:
- Remember to laugh—research suggests laughter can decrease stress hormones, reduce artery inflammation and increase HDL, the “good” cholesterol.
- Slow down—be realistic about what you can accomplish, and allow enough time to get the most important things done without having to rush.
- Talk with family and friends—a daily dose of friendship can be a great stress reliever.
- Try meditation, yoga, or prayer to relax—setting aside just 20 minutes a day can help you take a break from the stressful situations in your life.
Sources: American Heart Association, The Heart Foundation, Library of Congress, Mayo Clinic, NOVA Online, and WebMD.