I collaborated with St. Joseph® Low Dose Aspirin to create this post. All personal opinions and thoughts within this post are my own.
Since my husband and I turned fifty we’ve really been trying to take control of our health. And yes, we should have always been living a heart-healthy lifestyle, but better late than never. It’s also why we have taught our son from the beginning the importance of good health.
Regardless of your age, though, it’s never too late to start.
My husband and I have two risk factors that we can’t do too much about and that’s genetics and age. We cannot control our genetics, so if our parents, grandparents, great-grandparents (and on down our family tree), have/had heart disease or other cardiovascular conditions we are at risk as well.
In my case, my mother has high blood pressure and peripheral arterial disease, and AFib and my father has high cholesterol, Type 2 diabetes, and experienced a heart attack last year. At my last annual physical my doctor said I was borderline high cholesterol.
He said that I don’t need to take medication now, and hopefully won’t need to as long as I live a healthy lifestyle.
Put a Little Love in Your Heart
I also keep St. Joseph® Low Dose Aspirin in my medicine cabinet since my doctor recommended keeping a low dose aspirin handy at all times, just in case, because of my family history.
My husband’s father has high blood pressure and my husband does as well. His mother has Type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure, too. My husband’s doctor prescribed a medication that he takes to help control his blood pressure. His grandparents also had heart disease and his maternal grandfather died of a heart attack.
My husband’s doctor also recommended he take a low dose aspirin every day due to his high blood pressure and his family history. St. Joseph Low Dose Aspirin is a great way to put a little love in your heart.
However, be sure to speak with your physician about your overall health and if the potential benefits of a daily low dose aspirin regimen is right for you. It’s critical to speak with your doctor before beginning, stopping, or changing an existing aspirin regimen.
The other risk factor we cannot control is our age. The older we get the more we are at risk of heart disease. Men have a higher risk than women until the age of sixty-five. After sixty-five, the risk is about the same for both sexes.
The good news is there are some things we can control. There are things we can do to live the best lives we can and be heart healthy…
7 Ways to Live a Heart-Healthy Life
Eating a diet of fresh fruits and vegetables, lean protein, and good fats, as well as cutting out sugar and bad fats, or at least eating them in moderation is a great way to live a heart-healthy lifestyle.
Eating legumes, nuts, and avocados are great heart-healthy food choices and cutting down on red meat is another heart-smart choice.
One of the best things you can do for your heart is exercise. The American Heart Association recommends 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise weekly which equates to 30 minutes a day, 5 times a week. Also, add in 2 hours a week of strength or resistance training. Gradually increase the amount and intensity of your workouts over time.
Be sure to talk to your doctor before starting any new exercise program.
Maintain A Healthy Weight
Being overweight or carrying excess fat (especially belly fat) is associated with an increased risk of heart disease. The good thing about eating healthier and exercising is that you will lose weight.
You can look up BMI calculators to see what your healthy weight range is and how much weight you should lose if any. Then work to maintain that weight.
It’s unclear if stress itself contributes to heart disease, but chronic stress definitely leads to behaviors that do lead to heart disease. Chronic stress can cause us to overeat and make unhealthy food choices; it can lead to inactivity, as well as unhealthy habits like smoking and drinking alcohol to relieve the stress, which in turn can lead to high blood pressure and/or high cholesterol.
If you find yourself stressing a lot there are several things you can do manage stress, like meditation, yoga, reading a book, or taking a long bath. Whatever you find that helps you calm down, it’s worth doing for your overall health.
There is plenty of evidence to suggest that adequate sleep (7-8 hours a night) leads to a lower risk of heart disease. But most of us get less than that. While you’re working on living a heart-healthy life, incorporate steps that will help you get more sleep each night. Like…
- Don’t consume caffeine late in the day.
- Be consistent about when you get up in the mornings and when you go to bed at night.
- Set your bedroom temperature to 70 degrees (or cooler).
- Turn off all electronics/devices.
- Exercise, but not too close to bedtime.
These are just a few things you can try to help you get better sleep.
Monitor and Control Blood Pressure
As I mentioned earlier my husband has high blood pressure (or hypertension). Before he started medication his blood pressure was dangerously high. He usually keeps his blood pressure in the normal range now with medication, diet, and exercise. He also makes sure to monitor his blood pressure once or twice a month, just to keep it in check.
High blood pressure can lead to heart attacks and heart failure, so living a healthy lifestyle and managing his blood pressure is very important.
Because of my family history of hypertension and heart disease, I check my blood pressure once a month. As you can see from the photo above, my blood pressure was 106/60 when I took it yesterday, which is great, but high blood pressure is a silent killer, and why it’s a good idea to check it at least once a month as we get older.
Kick Bad Habits
It’s 2019 and we all know by now that smoking is very bad for you. If you smoke, now is the time to quit. Avoiding all tobacco products and second-hand smoke is one of the most preventable causes of heart disease. And there are wonderful resources out there to help you quit if you want to.
The seven ways you can live a heart-healthy life above are common sense really, but in the hectic lifestyles many of us live nowadays, it doesn’t hurt to remind ourselves of the things we need to do for our heart health.
We should love ourselves and our loved ones enough to ‘put a little love in your heart’. The best way you can love your heart and those you love is to educate yourself on the benefits of a low dose aspirin regime.
Taking a daily-dose aspirin is right for my husband, but remember, talk to your doctor to see if a daily low dose aspirin is right for you. If so, St. Joseph Low Dose Aspirin is easily accessible right off the shelf at all major retailers.
You can grab coupons to save on St. Joseph Low Dose Aspirin here.
This site does not constitute the practice of medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always talk to your health care provider for diagnosis and treatment, including your specific medical needs.