7 Simple Steps to a Healthier Heart and Brain
Prevention & Treatment You probably know that living a healthy lifestyle has benefits for your heart, but did you also know that what’s good for your heart is also good for your brain?
Following a heart-healthy lifestyle can lower your chances of stroke and help maintain cognitive abilities as you age. Check out these seven steps to help you control the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke.
1. Manage your blood pressure
High blood pressure is a major risk factor and has the potential to create a domino effect that can cause heart attack and stroke, toppling your overall health. When blood pressure rises, the first domino falls. But, when your blood pressure stays within a healthy range, you reduce the strain on your heart, arteries and kidneys – helping you stay healthier longer.
2. Lose weight
Losing excess weight automatically reduces the burden on your heart, lungs, blood vessels and skeleton. Staying active and eating healthier are key components in maintaining a healthy weight.
3. Keep your cholesterol in check
Having high cholesterol contributes to plaque, which can clog arteries and lead to heart disease and stroke. Keeping your cholesterol in check will give your arteries a better chance of remaining clear.
4. Watch your blood sugar
Did you know that many of the carbohydrates in the food you eat are turned into glucose (or blood sugar) that our bodies can use for energy? If your blood sugar isn’t controlled it can lead to the damage of your heart, kidneys, eyes and nerves.
5. Get active
Living an active lifestyle is the gift that keeps on giving. Put simply: if you keep moving and exercising, you’ll increase the length and quality of your life.
6. Get well
Eating with your heart and brain in mind is one of the greatest weapons for staving off heart disease and stroke. A healthy diet greatly improves your chances of feeling good and staying healthy for the rest of your life.
7. Quit smoking
Smokers have a higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease, which can lead to a heart attack or stroke. If you’re a smoker, quitting is the number one thing you can do for your health.
While the impact of a healthy lifestyle on brain function becomes more noticeable as you get older, brain health matters at every age. Maintaining a healthy brain and independent living well into your senior years starts with healthy choices in your 20s.