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In this article:
A Providence cardiologist shares tips for gradually introducing heart-healthy lifestyle changes that you can sustain.
Developing healthy morning habits makes a positive difference in your entire day.
Laughter really is the best medicine.
If getting healthier is at the top of your to-do list, you’re not alone. Health-related resolutions like eating healthier, exercising more, or quitting smoking are listed every year in the top 10 things people hope to change.
Heart disease is responsible for 1 in 4 deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, making it the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States. Improving your heart health is one of the most impactful things you can do to improve your health overall.
It’s easy to make sweeping statements like, “I’m going to eat healthier,” or “I’m going to get more exercise.” But vague intentions and unrealistic expectations are among the top reasons January’s goals have long been forgotten by spring.
Starting small, with attainable goals and reachable victories can help you achieve life-changing success. Here are four heart health hacks to get you started. If you incorporate just one a week for the next month you may be surprised by the big difference small changes can make in your life.
Get up five minutes earlier
Give yourself five minutes to start your day with a few deep breaths or a couple of minutes of meditation. Quickly review all you have to be thankful for and begin your morning in a positive frame of mind. You’ll set the tone for the rest of your day, which reduces your stress level and ultimately your heart health.
Replace your first cup of coffee with green tea
Green tea has many proven health benefits, according to the National Institutes of Health. Studies show green tea may help reduce several heart disease risk factors by lowering blood pressure and improving cholesterol levels.
Add one fruit or vegetable to each meal
Even when you have good intentions, it can be challenging to fit in the recommended 5–13 servings of fruits and veggies every day. Adding just one fruit or vegetable to every meal can significantly improve your nutrition over time. If that sounds too overwhelming, start by adding just one per day until you’re up to the recommended servings.
Laugh more, laugh often
It’s a proven fact. A good belly laugh can decrease stress hormones, improve cholesterol levels and reduce inflammation in your arteries, according to the American Heart Association.
Find a doctor
When you need help making lifestyle changes to improve your heart health, the cardiologists at Providence partner with you to develop a realistic plan that you can maintain long term. You can find a doctor using our provider directory.
Through Providence Express Care Virtual, you can also access a full range of healthcare services.
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This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional’s instructions.
About the AuthorMore Content by Providence Heart & Vascular Team