(Family Features) When it comes to creating and maintaining healthy habits, all the admonishments to “stop this” and “don’t do that” can be overwhelming. While there are some things you do need to cut back on, finding better balance is the true key to better heart health. You may be surprised by the things you should actually do more of in your pursuit of a healthier lifestyle.
With these tips from DSM Nutritional Products, you can put a priority on your health.
Increase your stress-busting activity. Whether you favor exercise, yoga or meditation, finding effective ways to channel your stress can help support the health of your heart. It’s no secret that stress makes your blood pressure rise, and that puts extra strain on your heart. Soothing your nerves keeps your stress in check and moderates your blood pressure. Remember that managing your stress doesn’t even have to be a formal activity; you may find relief from simply relaxing with a book or a cup of tea, or enjoying casual time with loved ones. Whatever strategy works for you, try to make a stress-reducing effort part of your everyday routine.
Balance your caloric intake. Instead of viewing weight management in terms of what you can’t have or have to do, consider thinking of your diet as a teeter-totter that you need to keep in balance. Overeating and indulging in nutrient-poor foods makes one side drop, but physical activity and regular exercise brings the other side down. Strive for a balance so you’re burning the calories you’re taking in; consume fewer calories and exercise more to help support a balanced weight. When it comes to the calories you consume, be sure they’re from nutrient-rich sources so your body reaps maximum benefits from its fuel.
Check your omega-3 levels. Omega-3 fatty acids are a family of polyunsaturated fats, including eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), that numerous studies have shown to have heart-health benefits. More specifically, supportive but inconclusive research shows omega-3s EPA and DHA may help to reduce the risk of coronary artery disease – the leading cause of death among both men and women, according to the Food and Drug Administration and the American Heart Association. Omega-3 fatty acids can be found in fatty fish, such as salmon, tuna, anchovies and sardines, as well as vegetarian sources like algae. If you don’t eat fish on a regular basis, you can find high-quality supplements containing omega-3 fatty acids, such as fish oil or algal oil.
Be sure to consult your health care provider before starting any supplement program, and ask your health care practitioner to check your omega-3 levels to make sure you are getting enough heart-healthy fats in your diet. Learn more at knowyouro.com.