February is American Heart Month, and it’s the perfect time to make sure you’re taking care of your heart health. From exercising regularly and managing stress levels to eating more heart-healthy foods, there are many things you can be doing daily to boost your cardiovascular health. Here are some pointers to keep in mind:
Physical activity and exercise are essential components of a healthy lifestyle, especially when it comes to keeping your heart healthy. It’s important to note that you should find an activity that you actually enjoy doing. It doesn’t matter what kind of exercise you choose – whether it’s aerobics, running, cycling, or something else entirely – just as long as you’re moving around and having fun. If you find something you enjoy, it’s easier for you to stick with the routine over time.
Aside from regular exercise, making healthier food choices is essential in order to promote better heart health. Heart-healthy eating means avoiding unhealthy fats like trans fats and saturated fats and instead, opting for more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Adding a variety of these foods into your diet can help reduce cholesterol levels and help protect against coronary artery disease.
Other tips include aiming for 4-5 servings of fruit per day; choosing lean proteins such as fish or poultry over red meat; drinking plenty of water; limiting sugary drinks; adding nuts or avocado into meals or snacks; using herbs/spices on meats/veggies instead of salt, and avoiding processed foods as much as possible.
Stress Management & Self-Care
Stress levels can have a significant impact on our heart health, which is why it’s so important to take care of mental well-being too. Make sure that you’re taking time out for yourself each day – even if it’s just 20 minutes! This could involve reading a book before bedtime or going for a walk outside – whatever works best for you! It’s important to manage stress in whatever way works best for you personally so that your body can stay relaxed and healthy over time.
When it comes to promoting better heart health this American Heart Month (and throughout the year), we suggest following the advice given by your primary care provider. If you do develop the need to see a cardiologist, Santiam Cardiology Clinic offers comprehensive cardiology care for those within our community.
Get to Know Dr. Benjamin Lee, DO, FACC
Dr. Lee is located at Santiam Cardiology Clinic and is accepting new patients. He provides comprehensive cardiac care using evidence-based medicine. Dr. Lee is passionate about working collaboratively with patients with an emphasis on preventive medicine. He has a strong interest in promoting community awareness of cardiovascular health. In his free time, Dr. Lee enjoys traveling, experiencing new cultures, and spending time with his family and pet Corgi, Bandita.
To schedule an appointment with Dr. Lee, please give our clinic a call at 503-769-9118.