- December 15, 2022
- Posted by: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Category: News
There’s something about a new year that reinvigorates us to make smarter, healthier choices for ourselves. If you’re someone who’s been wanting to change and improve the health of your heart, your time is NOW! While making changes can seem daunting, the long-term benefits include feeling better, decreasing your risk of having a stroke and extending the length of your life.
Below are seven goals you can set this year to continue (or start) being heart healthy in 2024.
Learn Your Health History
The first step to setting achievable goals is knowing where to start. We know that no one actually enjoys going to the doctor–which is why we have to put this as our top goal for 2024. Whether it’s with your general practitioner or if you have specific heart-related concerns you need to discuss with one of our heart specialists, we recommend that you get in touch with a doctor about your specific goals and needs before starting anything new.
Eat For Your Heart
Small, simple changes to your overall eating habits can make a world of difference for the health of your heart. After consulting with your doctor, look at your diet and see where your nutritional gaps lie. Some goals you can consider include eating the recommended servings of veggies, swapping lean meats for red meats, eating plant-based one day a week, and implementing intermittent fasting into your regime. The options are endless once you find which options will work best for you and your body!
We recognize that this is not something easily accomplished, but it’s something we strongly recommend. If you’re someone who smokes or vapes, there’s no better time than the new year to consider quitting for good. Start by reading American Heart Association’s 5 Steps to Quit Smoking or Vaping for tips and other information.
Increase Your Physical Activity
Whether you’re a couch potato or someone who hits the gym every day, increasing your level of physical activity is a great goal to set for yourself. It’s also important to set a goal that’s reasonable for you and your current fitness level. Below are a few examples of exercise-related goals you could set to improve your heart health:
- Walk or run for 30 minutes, five days a week
- Try a new workout class once a month
- Weight train 2-3 times per week
- Train for and run a marathon or participate in a triathlon
- Get at least 10K steps a day
Order More Water
Swap the soda or the booze for a glass of water. Not only will you save money and calories, you’ll be helping to keep your heart healthy with each glass of water you consume. We recommend looking at how many sodas or alcoholic drinks you have per week, and replacing ⅓ (or more) of them with a glass of water.
Get More Sleep
According to the American Heart Association, adults need at least 7-9 hours of sleep every night – easier said than done, right? The key to getting more sleep is creating a solid nighttime routine. Below are a few recommendations we have for a good night’s sleep:
- Avoid your phone one hour before bedtime
- Don’t eat or drink alcohol two to three hours before bed
- Wind down before turning your lights off by reading a good book, listening to some calming music, meditating or doing a slow yoga routine
Create a Gratitude Practice
Practicing gratitude – or thankfulness – is a fantastic way to reduce stress and anxiety, both of which can contribute to poor heart health and overall wellness. Spending five minutes every day to journal about and meditate on the things you’re thankful is something we recommend making time for in 2024. One of our favorite resources is The Gratitude Journal.
Every health journey starts with just a single step, so don’t wait to start living a heart healthy life today. If you have questions about where and how to start, visit our contact page so you can make an appointment with our cardiologists at a location near you.