HEART HEALTH TIPS
FEBRUARY IS AMERICAN HEART MONTH
Heart disease is the number one cause of death in America. While high blood pressure and heart disease are serious conditions, a healthy heart is achievable through lifestyle changes including getting more physical activity, eating healthier, and lowering your sodium intake.
TIPS TO HELP REDUCE SODIUM IN YOUR DIET
The Y offers the following tips from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA):
- Read the Label: The Nutrition Facts label is a great way to monitor your daily sodium intake. Keep in mind dietary guidelines suggest less than 2,300 mg per day of sodium.
- Eat Fruits and Veggies: Most fruits and vegetables are naturally low in sodium. While fresh is the way to go, canned veggies are a great option too - just look for "no added salt" and remember to read the Nutrition Facts.
- Put Together Meals at Home: Doing this allows you to have control over the salt you eat. It's always good to taste before adding salt.
- Spice It Up: Speaking of cooking... don't be afraid to add flavor in other ways with dried herbs and spices instead of salt.
TIPS TO HELP WITH HEART-HEALTHY EXERCISES
Along with making slight modifications to your foods, adding in cardio exercises to your workout routine can make a difference in your heart health. Here are some ways at the Y you can be heart healthy:
- Cardio Group Exercise Classes: Work up a sweat and raise that heart rate in one of our many cardio classes. These classes range in intensity, but all will get your heart pumping. Check out our schedules from across our YMCAs.
- Play: It can be as simple as that! It's recommended for kids to get 60 minutes of active play every day, and adults can benefit too! Activities like basketball, pickleball and even our interactive game simulator (available at come of our locations) can be a great way to the blood pumping while having fun, along with Family Time offered at various Y branches. Plus, it’s something the whole family can get involved in.
- Equipment: Treadmills and rowing machines are two great examples of pieces of equipment you’ll find at our Ys that can give you great cardio workouts. Our knowledgeable wellness coaches are always happy to help give advice on which equipment can help you achieve your goals.