You are well aware that exercise and a sensible diet are key to ensuring your heart remains healthy. But you should also know that these aren’t the only things you can do to keep your heart healthy. Heart disease is a progressive condition that can start early in life. The good news is that it can be controlled by making smart lifestyle choices. Privis Health,  a leading provider of digital health solutions, offers ways in which you can maintain a healthy heart.

Get Plenty of Sleep

Sleep is a key part of keeping your heart healthy. When you don’t get enough sleep, you may be at a higher risk for cardiovascular disease, even if you eat healthy and get plenty of exercise. Studies show that those who sleep fewer than six hours a night are twice as likely to have a heart attack or stroke than people who sleep at least six to eight hours a night.

Low Fat Diet

A diet that is low in fat, saturated fats and trans fats is a heart-healthy diet. To minimize saturated fats, choose lean cuts of meat, remove the skin from poultry and choose fat-free and low-fat dairy products. Check all processed foods to ensure you aren’t eating trans fats, especially in products like crackers and baked goods.

Cut Cholesterol

Cholesterol is found in animal products like eggs, meat, poultry and dairy. Even low-fat foods and lean meat can have a high content of cholesterol. You need to check labels on the foods you eat to ensure you aren’t consuming too much cholesterol.

Eat More Fiber

Fiber helps you feel full so you don’t eat too much. It also helps lower blood cholesterol levels. A high-fiber diet includes beans, whole grain cereals and bread, fruits and vegetables.

Eat More Fish

Fatty fish including salmon, sardines, mackerel and albacore tuna should be consumed at least twice a week to help maintain a healthy heart. The omega-3 fatty acids found in fish and fish oil supplements help lower blood triglycerides, lowers blood pressure and slows the buildup of plaque in the arteries.

Moderate Drinking

A glass of red wine is fine as it contains antioxidants that may help reduce the risk of heart disease, but drinking too much can increase blood pressure and calorie count.

Avoid Stress

The way in which you handle both professional and personal stress has a direct effect on your heart. Stress that is not dealt with properly can increase blood pressure and cholesterol levels, which are risk factors that lead to heart disease. Stress might also cause you to drink excessively and smoke, which are poor lifestyle choices.

Dental Hygiene

Dental health is a good indication of overall health, which includes your heart. People who have gum disease often have the same risk factors for heart disease. It is critical that you brush your teeth regularly and floss to ward off gum disease.

Sitting Will Kill You

There has been a lot of research done lately on the negative effects of sitting for a long period of time. No matter how much exercise you do, sitting for too long is bad for you. Researchers found that those who sit the most have a 147 percent increase in cardiovascular events and a 90 percent increase in death caused by such events.

See a Doctor

See your doctor for annual physicals that include cholesterol and blood pressure testing. Take any prescribed medications that will control blood pressure and lower your cholesterol. And talk to your doctor about other ways in which you can maintain a healthy heart.

Privis Health offers elegant solutions including flexible models for team-based services, the ability to identify gaps in care, opportunities to manage risk, and workflows that address core measures and reporting requirements. Contact us for more details.