Protect Your Heart For
Hearts You Hold Dear
How healthy is your heart? Reducing your risk factors for heart disease, knowing your family health history, getting regular screenings, collaborating with your physician and making heart-healthy choices are all important parts of protecting your heart.
Wayne UNC Health Care is committed to your health and wellness. Take our Heart Health quiz to test your heart smarts and learn about ways you can take control of your health today.
Eat Right to Fight Heart Disease
Healthy eating begins with smart food choices. When planning your meals or eating out, choose nutritious, heart-healthy meals.
Here, our experts at Wayne UNC Health Care offer you the tools and resources you need to navigate the grocery store, restaurants, your workplace and special occasions. Our registered dietitian can even help create an individualized meal plan thats right for you!
Get Moving for Your Heart
Physical activity is key to avoiding heart disease and stroke. From aerobic exercises like climbing stairs or walking to strength and stretching exercises, moving your body has the added benefits of reducing your risk of developing diabetes and high blood pressure and keeping your muscles, bones and joints healthy.
Our therapists at Wayne UNC Health Care Orthopedic Physical Therapy are experts in helping our patients use movement to heal the body. Here, they provide five tips for exercising to improve your heart health.
- Our bodies are made for movement. Daily exercise helps our bodies to continue moving throughout our daily activities.
Performing activities like walking 30-40 minutes per day, 3-5 times per week can help keep good cardiovascular status.
Accountability with exercise will help you continue on those days when you just don’t feel like doing anything. Plan to exercise with someone so that you can encourage each other.
Make exercise fun by doing activities that you enjoy doing. If you like swimming, there are a lot of activities you can do in the water to get a great workout. Water walking will give you great resistance for general strengthening.
Simple changes in your daily activities can make a big difference with increasing your exercise levels. Use the stairs instead of taking the elevator. While watching TV, raise your arms and then your legs several times during your favorite show to burn some calories. Rather than letting your dog go outside, put him on a leash and go for a little walk, he’ll thank you for it.
Be Good to Your Heart and Your Appetite
You can protect your heart, and make a delicious meal for your family. It’s a common misconception that anything described as healthy is lacking flavor.
Check out our collection of heart-healthy recipes, which are sure to inspire many tasty future meals.
Go to Sleep
Exercise and eating nutritious foods aren’t the only things that can help increase heart health; sleep is also a factor. Sleep is essential to life. The better night’s sleep you get, the healthier your heart will be. Poor sleep quality is linked to an increased risk of high blood pressure, a potential cause of heart disease.
- Help your mind stop racing. Have too much to think about when your head hits the pillow? Make time earlier in the evening to write down worries and possible solutions or make a to-do list for the next day.
- Stick to a sleep schedule. If possible, try to go to sleep and wake up at the same times each day-even on the weekends. This can help your body set its biological clock for regular sleep.
- Make your bedroom comfortable. Many people sleep best in a room that is cool, dark and quiet. A comfy bed is also important. A fan or white noise machine can help block out distracting noises or help lull you to sleep.
- Focus on your breathing. Take deep breaths-you may even want to count them. Relax the muscles in your body-slowly working your way up from your toes to your head.
If you’re suffering from sleeplessness, call 919-731-6219 to speak with our Sleep Lab. We’ll get you on the right track to a better night’s sleep and a healthier heart!
Take time to Relax
80% of heart disease and stroke can be prevented by understanding family history, knowing the risk factors and making simple lifestyle changes.
Together, let’s take the month of February to demonstrate our commitment to raising awareness about heart disease by supporting each other.
- Take a co-worker to lunch this month and enjoy a healthy meal at a local restaurant
- Enjoy a walk with a friend after work
- Spend time over the weekend with your family to de-stress and relax
- Or try one of the Heart Healthy Events listed below