Valentine’s Day has come and gone, but it got me thinking about heart health. Specifically, what can we do on a daily basis to improve our cardiovascular health and well-being. The American Heart Association, Mayo Clinic, National Institute of Health and pretty much every other medically oriented organization all have guidelines for heart-healthy eating and exercise. There are plenty of fitness trackers and calorie counters available on the market today to track steps, food intake and activity levels. On-line resources abound in every aspect of heart health.
Heart Health Essentials
So what are the key ingredients to a healthy, happy heart? Lower your cholesterol, lower your blood pressure, adopt a heart-healthy diet, lower your sodium intake, increase your cardiovascular exercise and keep your stress levels down. Sounds like a great recipe to me, actually.
If you know me, or follow my blogs, you know these are all of the things I support and implement in my workout and nutrition programs. When my team and I create a nutrition plan for you I cut out most dairy (it’s too fatty and increases cholesterol), I cut out fatty meats, I cut down on sodium intake and increase green, leafy vegetables, heart healthy oils and fiber. All of these work to help increase your heart health, lower your blood pressure and cholesterol levels and help you lose weight in a healthy, sustainable way.
When it comes to creating an exercise program I’m a firm believer in weight training for both men and women. I always add a cardiovascular component to every training program as well. However, I feel you need to have a strong body as well as a strong heart, because the heart isn’t just an organ, it’s also a muscle. Think about what it takes for your heart to pump blood and recirculate it throughout your body. Like every other muscle in your body, your heart becomes stronger through exercise. Your heart rate will increase when you’re working out, but as it becomes stronger, your resting heart rate will become lower since less effort is required to circulate your blood. There’s also a key correlation between increased exercise and lower stress levels. Honestly, the more you workout, the less stressed out you are and the better you sleep. What could be better than that?
Better Health Via The Fitness Lifestyle
Ever since I started thinking about the relationship between nutrition and exercise, it became crystal clear to me that in order to be healthy, you can’t just workout and eat poorly, or eat well and never workout. You absolutely have to combine both of these to be able to look, feel and perform at your best. Most personal trainers will be happy to create a workout program for you, but many don’t understand the underlying principles of nutrition for heart health and weight loss. That’s where my team of High Performance Personal Trainers and I come in. We work with you to help you meet your dietary and fitness goals and achieve your optimal health.
Contact me today to set up a one-on-one consultation. We’ll work together to create a program that’s right for you.