You’ve likely heard that the best ways to improve your vascular health — and overall health — are to eat right, exercise more, and lose weight. While these ideas may seem simple enough, they’re quite vague and, often, anything but easy to execute.
To help break these ideas, and others, down, Farhad Aduli, MD, FACC, and the team of cardiovascular experts here at Louisiana Heart and Vascular, want to provide you with actionable tips that you can implement with relative ease.
If you want to make this the year that you take your vascular health more seriously, here’s how you can get started.
One of the most important steps when it comes to protecting yourself against vascular disease is to fully understand your starting point. Through a cardiology consultation at our practice, we evaluate your health, your family history, and your lifestyle and goals to devise a program that best suits your vascular needs.
Armed with a clear baseline of your vascular health, we can make sure all of your efforts really count toward improving the health of your blood vessels.
Some people are starting to refer to sitting as the new smoking, since prolonged periods in this position can lead to both vascular and musculoskeletal issues.
We understand that our lives have become far more sedentary, but we recommend that you take every opportunity to stand up and move. For example, if you’re working at the computer, set a timer that goes off every hour and get up and move for five minutes.
When you do this, you allow your blood to circulate more freely, and you can prevent vascular problems from developing, such as chronic venous insufficiency in your lower limbs or plaque buildup in your arteries.
Since we’ve already referenced smoking, let’s touch on this subject again. Smoking is incredibly harmful for your vascular health, as it promotes the formation of plaque in your blood vessels.
We understand that quitting smoking can be difficult, but we urge you to make that final step and ditch the cigarettes. Here’s a link to some resources to help you get started.
Instead of simply stating that you need to cut out fats and eat healthier foods (and you should), let’s take another approach and list a few foods that you should add to your diet, such as:
Each of these foods promotes better vascular health from different angles and should be a part of a heart-healthy diet.
If you snack on high-fat foods, such as chips or cookies, why not take the first step and swap out one of these daily snacks with some fruit, vegetables, or nuts? As you learn to enjoy these substitutes, you can begin to swap out more of your snacks throughout the day.
If you enjoy sodas, juices, or other sweetened drinks, swap out one of these for a nice glass of water, which will keep sugar out of your blood and help your blood flow more freely.
If you’re under considerable stress, your vascular health may be working a bit harder thanks to prolonged periods during which you have higher-than-normal cortisol levels in your body (the stress hormone).
We urge you to find ways to relax throughout the day to lower these hormone levels. Try walking around the block, taking a few minutes with a good book, or trying some deep breathing exercises. Any of these could do wonders to help you relax. For more ideas, click here.
While there are many more ideas that can help support your vascular health, implementing the tips above is a great place to start. And make sure to come see us! We can track your progress as you go and suggest more tips along the way.
To learn more, call 985-231-5713 or book an appointment online with Louisiana Heart and Vascular today. We’re located in Covington, Louisiana, and we also serve patients from Mandeville and Slidell.