4 tips to live a more heart-healthy lifestyle

(BPT) – In honor of American Heart Month this February, you can make positive changes to your well-being by evaluating how your everyday lifestyle affects your heart health. To get started, take steps to understand your risk, then consider making healthier choices to help lower your chances of heart disease.

Registered Dietitian and Nutritionist Dawn Jackson Blatner shares a few of her tips to help you live a heart-healthy lifestyle, starting with your routine wellness visits.

1. Know your risk

Getting regular health screenings as part of your annual exam is crucial to understanding your risk for heart disease. By consulting with your primary healthcare provider on a regular basis, you can ask questions and get advice on practical steps you could take to improve your well-being.

“Regular wellness visits are a crucial part of staying healthier,” Blatner advises. “And it’s always recommended to talk to your doctor before beginning any new exercise routine or nutrition program.”

2. Stay active

Try to fit 30-60 minutes of physical activity into your day, which can include walking, gardening or household chores as well as swimming, dancing, playing a sport or taking a fitness class. Various aerobic activities that get your heart rate up, strength exercises to build muscle, plus yoga or stretching for flexibility are usually a good mix.

Make it easier to exercise enough each day by breaking up activity into smaller chunks rather than doing it all at once.

3. Reduce stress

The good news is that many of the activities you can do to keep physically active have the added benefit of reducing your stress levels. According to the Mayo Clinic, exercise can improve your mood, reduce tension and help you focus throughout your day.

Apart from exercise, you can try meditation, breathing exercises and any

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