Your heart works hard for you your whole life! Show it some love with these easy tips for keeping it healthy.
Get more sleep.
Sleep is good for your heart.
- Studies show that young and middle-age adults who slept 7 hours a night had less calcium in their arteries (an early sign of heart disease). Those who slept 5 hours or less or 9 hours or more had more calcium.1
- If you have trouble falling or staying asleep at night, talk to your doctor about what changes you can make.
Check your blood pressure.
The extra force of high blood pressure can damage artery walls and create scar tissue. This makes it harder for blood and oxygen to get to and from your heart. The heart has to pump harder and wears out faster.
- Cutting back on salt, limiting alcohol, eating healthy, managing stress and working out can help. If these don’t help, your doctor might recommend medication.
- Get your blood pressure checked every 3-5 years if you’re 18-39. If you’re 40 or older or have high blood pressure, check it every year.2
Find out if you have diabetes.
Millions of people don’t know that they have diabetes (high blood sugar). Over time, it damages arteries and makes heart disease more likely.
- Borderline high blood sugar is called prediabetes. If you have it, take action now to turn things around.
- Work with your doctor on your lifestyle and take medicine if needed.
Pay attention to how much time you spend sitting down and reduce that time.
- Break up long periods of sitting by standing or walking while doing things like talking on the phone or watching TV.
- Aim for 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week of moderate exercise.3
Clean up your diet.
Your heart works best when it runs on clean fuel.
- Eat lots of whole, plant-based foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds.
- Eat fewer refined or processed foods like white bread, pasta, crackers and cookies.
- A fast way to clean up your diet is to cut out sugary beverages like soda.
Ditch the cigarettes, real and electronic.
Smoking and secondhand smoke are bad for your heart.
- If you smoke, quit, and don't spend time around others who smoke.
- E-cigarettes do contain nicotine, so your goal should be to quit completely.
Do more of what you love.
Manage stress in a healthy way, like one of these:
- Yoga or tai chi
- Other exercise
For additional help with managing high blood pressure and heart health, call 501.228.7111 or 800.235.7111 and ask to speak to a QCARE Health Coach.* Learn more.
*Programs vary by group and benefit plan. Check with your health plan administrator to see if QCARE benefits are included with your plan.