Ways You Can Help Your Heart Today

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This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Henry Ford Health System

Pretty much every part of our body depends on our heart. We’re not just talking about the metaphorical heart that we all think of, but the blood pumping organ in the center of our chests. It may not be as pretty as the ones we see papered around during Valentine’s Day, but it is key to show your heart the love it gives you. It is vital to keep us healthy and to keep our whole system going every day.

While it may not be something you think about doing, it’s always a good time to make small changes in your life to make your heart healthier. You may already have a workout plan and a healthy way of living, but your heart may not be as healthy as you think it is. Did you know there is a way to check and see how healthy your heart is and to get tips to improve your heart health?

Find Out How Healthy Your Heart Is!

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If you’re like me, you may have someone in your family that has heart conditions. My wakeup call was when my grandmother had congestive heart failure a few years ago, and it made me start looking at my lifestyle differently. The constant struggle with my weight has always been a concern for me, but what about that slightly elevated cholesterol and this sedentary job?

Thankfully there is the Henry Ford Health Heart Risk Assessment, a quick five minute questionnaire you can use to find out a baseline for your heart health. It tells you what parts of your lifestyle need to be adjusted to help keep your heart healthy and what you can actually do to make positive changes for your heart.

When I took the Henry Ford Health Heart Risk Assessment the results were a little surprising to me (but in a good way). It said that while there were a couple things that needed to be improved, my heart was measuring younger than my actual age (by 5 years!). Since taking the test I made sure I asked my doctor to put me on a low dose medicine for the genetic predisposition to higher cholesterol. I also lucked out that my current doctor originally specialized in cardiology, so despite me being younger, she ran a full work up including an echocardiogram so we have a baseline for my health later if there are any issues.

Be sure you take the Henry Ford Health Heart Risk Assessment and get the information to talk to your doctor now to be proactive with your health.

You Are What You Eat

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Life is busy and we all love to have something quick to eat at the end of a long day, but sometimes taking that extra time is all you need to do for your heart and your body. It could be as simple as making a healthier choice – how about lean chicken or fish for dinner instead of that pizza with extra cheese? Or skipping that bag of Cheetos and having an apple instead? While these choices are often the hardest ones when you’re tired and vulnerable, they start to add up over time.

I’m definitely not saying that you can’t have them at all, but one of the biggest changes we made over the past year is making sure we cut out even more of the processed foods and drinks in our home. We’ve given up pop completely and I only use a natural flavoring in my water. I honestly was surprised at how quickly the craving for pop went away, and I have a lot more energy now that I’m not adding a ton of empty calories to my body every day.

The easiest way to start improving your diet and your heart health is simple – to start! It could be something small like cutting out pop, or changing your snacks, but each little thing adds up to a big result for your body over time.

If you need some inspiration check out the Henry Ford Live Well Blog for recipes and tips how to kick off a healthier you.

Active Lifestyles Mean a More Active Life

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Have you figured out the key to aging yet? I swear that it’s staying more active and taking care of yourself. From walking more, to taking care of your feet (seriously this is key!) and working out however you can, you will provide your body what it needs to keep going.

The reality is most of us have sedentary jobs and it can actually do our bodies a lot of harm. We aren’t moving enough, we’re eating more junk and really we need to start taking the steps (literally and figuratively) to a healthier life. Set an alarm for every hour and go for a quick walk, or stand up while you’re working.

Get up, get out and move. Take a nightly walk after dinner, move more or even join a local gym or club. Check your city to see if they have a walking club or even a pool you can use to work out. Small amounts of activity and changes build up over time and you’ll be surprised at how much they make you feel better and what they will do to help your body over all. When starting an exercise program, especially if it’s been a while, you need to be aware of some of the risks and discuss the program with your doctor first. A heart attack can be a risk in the beginning, so it’s important to know when to go to er for chest pain.

You’re Not Just Doing it for You

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As selfish as it is to think that these changes are just for you, the reality is you’re doing it for the people in your life who love you. Your children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews. Taking control of your health is key to making sure you can be there when they need you most and when you want to be there for them.

Do you want to see your grandkids get married? Or do you want to just be able to keep up with your kids at the playground? There are a lot of great reasons to take control of your health, but remember you are not the only one your health impacts.

But, with that being said, you do need to make sure you take the time to make yourself a priority. As busy as life is, you may be juggling a hundred things at once and that may mean that your health takes the back seat to everyone and everything else. Remember the reasons you want to be healthier and to make sure your heart is healthy and use them as the reason to get started on a healthier lifestyle.

Find Resources for A Healthier Lifestyle

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So it’s time to start your journey to a healthier life and healthier heart. Where do you even start? First make sure you take that Henry Ford Health Heart Risk Assessment and see where you may have some areas to improve on. Then it’s time to find a doctor in practicing at Henry Ford Health System! If you’re in Metro Detroit, you already know that Henry Ford Heart & Vascular Institute is one of the oldest and well recognized cardiovascular programs in the country. The doctors there know how to handle more extreme cases and help treat different vascular diseases. They treat their patients as individuals and customize a treatment plan for you, knowing that you are not just a box that needs checked at the end of the day. Their knowledge, treatment options and patient centered focus is what brings patients from all over the world here to Detroit to be treated at Henry Ford Health System.

Remember finding the right health plan for you is an individual journey. Betterhelp.com is an option to find a therapist that can help with your current situation and the changes your heart health journey may bring to your life. Be sure to check out the different services that BetterHelp offers. They custom-match you to a therapist perfectly suited to your needs. Taking a whole body approach including finding a therapist is a great way to make sure you are healthy and can do more of what you love.

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Henry Ford Health System


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