You need to know about two statistics surrounding the state of cardiovascular health in the United States.
First, heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, claiming nearly 700,000 lives each year. Second, 1 in 3 of these deaths is preventable; this is the statistic we want to focus on.
As cardiovascular experts, Dr. James Kim and our team are all too familiar with these numbers, and we want to do our part to change them. To that end, we want to outline a few small, simple steps you can take — right after you read this — that will improve your cardiovascular health.
It’s all well and good to say, “Lose weight, exercise, quit smoking, and improve your diet,” but we understand that these are far easier said than done. With that in mind, let’s break these ideas down into actionable items.
Swap out one snack
As you reach for a bag of chips or a couple of cookies, we want you to grab a healthier snack instead. Just once per day, to start. For example, a handful of baby carrots or some nuts are great, crunchy substitutes for chips.
By the same token, a bowl of berries, an apple, or a banana are easy snacks that satisfy your sweet tooth.
If you endeavor to swap out just one of your snacks with these healthier alternatives, we wager that you’ll end up swapping out more as you go.
Exercise around the house
Going to the gym to get some exercise is great, but it’s time-consuming and requires a fair bit of motivation on your part. How about playing little exercise games around the house instead?
For example, take your stairs two at a time. Execute five quick squats while you wait for your coffee to brew. When you carry the garbage bag out, do some curls and lifts with the bag with each arm.
When you add up these seemingly small efforts, you can get in a fair amount of exercise throughout your day without skipping a beat.
Turn off your screens
Stress can contribute to poor cardiovascular health, and one of the biggest sources of stress is often right in the palm of your hand. Try to turn off all screens for at least one hour per day so no one can reach you, and you won’t be subjected to the never-ending stream of bad news.
Dance it out
We’d love for you to get your heart rate up every day, and a great way to do this is to turn up your music and dance it out. This is an especially great way to make common chores more fun, such as cleaning the house or gardening.
Drink more water and less sugar
The amount of sugar in most drinks is very high, so we challenge you to ditch at least one of those drinks in favor of a glass of water.
Iced teas, lemonades, sodas, and even those so-called healthy brain beverages are loaded with calories. By eliminating one of those drinks each day and drinking water instead, you cut calories and hydrate yourself.
Of course, there are plenty more small steps you can take to improve your cardiovascular health, and we’re sure you can get creative and come up with some of your own.
If you want a little guidance getting started, please contact one of our two locations in National City or Chula Vista, California.