Get Heart Healthy!
About 62 million Americans have some form of cardiovascular disease (CVD), and over a million die from these conditions each year, according to the American Heart Association. In fact, more women die of heart disease than breast cancer. What you may not realize is that there are steps you can take to change this statistic!
Often, heart disease can be prevented by adopting a weight-healthy lifestyle that emphasizes healthy fats, lean proteins, the right carbs, and a regular fitness routine. These principles are the foundation of The South Beach Heart Program, the newest book by Dr. Arthur Agatston, preventive cardiologist, associate professor of medicine at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, and author of The South Beach Diet®. His goal is to help people understand and adopt his aggressive approach to preventing heart attacks and strokes.
Here are just a few ways to reduce your risk of developing heart disease:
Eat a heart-healthy diet that includes whole grains, good fats (like those from omega-3-rich fish, extra-virgin olive oil, and nuts), plenty of fruits and vegetables, beans, low-fat dairy products, and lean sources of protein (like skinless poultry breasts and lean cuts of beef, such as tenderloin and top round).
Exercise regularly. It will help improve blood chemistry, reduce stress, dampen inflammation, and improve cardiovascular fitness. Dr. Agatston encourages you to get at least 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise most days of the week (brisk walking fits the bill), as well as a balanced routine of stretching and strengthening exercises, particularly of the core muscles of your abdomen, lower back, pelvis, and hips. Choose a source of physical activity that you find fun to do regularly. Members of southbeachdiet.com can try the South Beach Diet® Fitness Club, a comprehensive exercise program that features core moves — including photos and video demos. Simply subscribe to southbeachdiet.com and take advantage of the Fitness Club offer.
Maintain a healthy weight. This is especially important if you are considered obese (designated as a BMI of 30 or above). The closer you are to your recommended weight (a BMI between 18.5 and 24.9 is considered ideal), the less strain there is on your heart.
Quit smoking. Even if you've tried before, there are now many methods and organizations to help you kick the habit. Ask your doctor for his or her recommendations.
Lower stress and learn to manage your anger. Maybe this means making only the commitments you can handle, or maybe you'll want to try relaxation techniques such as meditation or yoga.
Dr. Agatston maps out his aggressive approach to preventing heart disease in The South Beach Heart Program. The book includes advice on eating right, exercising regularly, and partnering with your doctor to get the right diagnostic tests and, if necessary, lifesaving medications. For the comprehensive four-step plan that can save your life, order your copy of The South Beach Heart Program today, or visit us at southbeachdiet.com/heart.