Goals for a Strong Heart in the Fall and Winter Seasons

In 2010, experts from the American Heart Association identified seven key behaviors that can optimize and protect heart health:

  1. Exercise
  2. Eat right
  3. Lower blood pressure
  4. Lower your cholesterol
  5. Know your blood sugar
  6. Maintain a healthy weight
  7. Don’t smoke

Dr. Donald Lloyd-Jones, representing the American Heart Association, says this list of 7 actions above is the closest medicine we have to achieving the mythical “Fountain of Youth.”

He emphasizes the following tips:

  • Get regular exercise – Both aerobic and resistance training and even short workouts help (i.e. calisthenics, push ups and sit-ups, walking stairs at work, walking around the neighborhood).
  • Avoid high blood pressure – Lose weight, watch salt and sugar intake, etc.
  • Know and lower your cholesterol levels (HDL, LDL, and triglycerides) – Eat fatty fish, nuts, tofu, fruit, olive oil, beans, vegetables, and reduce carbohydrate intake.
  • Lower blood sugar – Get a good night’s sleep, reduce extra pounds, lower alcohol intake, and follow your fasting blood sugar with your PCP, etc.
  • Eat healthy food – Eat fruits, vegetables, seafood, yogurt, organic foods, olive oil, etc. and avoid sodas, fruit juices, pasta, bread, processed meats, and trans fats, etc.
  • Don’t smoke – Quitting will immediately lower your risk of heart disease by up to 50 percent
  • Get a dog –It keeps you moving while you are loving and being loved.
  • Reduce stress in your life and work – Chronic mental and emotional stress takes a major toll on your heart.
  • Meditate – Evidence shows that meditating can blunt the body’s maladaptive response to stress.
  • Go regularly to your dentist – Studies have found that gum disease increases the risk of heart disease by 24 to 34 percent.
  • Lower alcohol intake – If going to drink alcohol, drink red wine in moderation – it raises HDL cholesterol, the healthy kind.
  • Walk in nature – Studies show that walking in nature can lead to benefits such as lower blood pressure and lower stress hormones.


Based on the heart-healthy conclusions above from the American Heart Association, which ones are you willing to include in your wellness regimen?  You might want to tape this on your fridge!

Enjoy the day!


7 Habits for a Healthy Heart by Anahad O’Connor, New York Times, Well Column, September 28, 2017.



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