HONOLULU (KHON2) – The first day of Spring is March 20 and as many people prepare to purge some old items in their homes one Maui doctor is reminding Hawaii residents to purge bad habits related to their health.
Dr. Wazhma Aslamy works in the Cardiology Department at Maui Memorial Medical Center. She said spring is typically when people clean their house and take stock. Dr. Aslamy said springtime is also a great time to check in with your heart health.
It’s important to look after your body and take care of your heart. She said having a strong heart is critical to one’s overall health and well-being.
You can take better care of your heart by eating healthier, dieting if needed, getting better sleep and taking a look at your overall stress.
When looking at safe and healthy diets to implement Dr. Aslamy suggests eating anti-inflammatory foods and avoiding processed foods and simple sugars.
Anti-inflammatory foods to consider:
- Fresh fruits
- Whole grains
- Lean Meat
It’s also important to avoid foods that are high in animal fats, salt and refined sugar. Dr. Aslamy said a popular diet that encompasses these types of eating habits is the Mediterranean diet.
Eating healthy is only one piece to the puzzle when looking after your heart health. It’s important to get moving and to stay active throughout the week.
Unfortunately, everyday activities like gardening, chores and running errands aren’t the best way to stay active. For many people they need to set time out of their day to complete an easy-going workout to get the blood flowing and the heart pumping.
Dr. Aslamy said to really benefit your heart you need to break a sweat. This usually means engaging in physical activity that elevates your heart rate for at least 25 minutes a few times a week.
When your heart rate increases due to exercise it decreases the inflammation in your blood vessels and in return will lower your blood pressure which then controls your blood sugar levels.
Helpful tips to look after your heart:
- Getting adequate sleep
- Limiting alcohol
- Limiting caffeine consumption
- Setting a regular bedtime
Dr. Aslamy also suggests turning off electrical devices like a cellphone or your bedroom TV to help you get a goodnight’s rest.
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