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February marks American Heart Month in the United States. However, it’s worth implementing small changes for cardiovascular health every day, no matter where you are in the world. Making good dietary and lifestyle choices can help to protect your most valuable assets: your heart!
The heart is a muscle, so regular physical activity helps it stay in shape, just like the muscles in your arms and legs. While your heart won't get bigger with exercise, daily activity can improve its pumping power and blood circulation.
No amount of movement is too small when getting started on a heart health and fitness journey. Experts at John's Hopkins University suggest 30 minutes of exercise at least three times a week. However, you can reap these benefits by breaking it into small chunks — two, 15-minute walks or even 5 minutes of movement per hour. Get started by walking once around the block before work or taking a lap around the office every 60 minutes. As your stamina builds, increase activity levels gradually. If you find it uncomfortable to move due to stiff joints, natural joint lubrication supplements like Arthro-7 can help make activity more comfortable.*
The citrus bioflavonoids in our VeinHealth blend can provide additional support to improve blood circulation.* It can also help your veins stay as strong and healthy as the rest of you will become.*
Meals that incorporate carbohydrates, fats, and proteins provide balanced nutrition that your heart will love. A focus on whole grains, reduced sugars, and lots of fruits and vegetables will get you started on the right track for heart health.
You might be surprised to learn that you probably don't need to overhaul your entire pantry to start eating right for your heart! Look for staples you already have on hand, such as eggs, unsweetened oatmeal, nut butter, frozen vegetables, and high-fiber cereals.
Eating heart-healthy at every meal is the goal. However, starting with a heart-healthy breakfast is a fantastic way to get your days, and your health journey started on the right foot.
Getting an understanding of where your blood pressure and cholesterol levels are gives a good baseline for how to improve heart health. Your doctor can test both of these numbers quickly. If high blood pressure is a concern, you can do regular non-invasive tests at home with a personal blood pressure monitor available from a local pharmacy.
Making sensible dietary and supplement selections can also help your blood pressure and cholesterol health journey. Our HyperBalance formula includes two traditional Chinese medicine herbs, Eucommia and Cat's Claw. These herbs have long been used to support healthy blood pressure levels.*
Additionally, incorporating plant sterol esters into your diet can help you achieve and maintain a good cholesterol balance. The FDA has found that eating foods containing at least 1.3 grams of plant sterol esters per day may help reduce the risk of heart disease when coupled with a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol. CitriCholess is rich in these beneficial plant sterol esters in every serving, making it easy to get great support.*
As you incorporate movement and dietary changes into your lifestyle, it's essential to give your body the rest and additional support it needs for working so hard.
Allow yourself to wind down at least a full hour before bedtime. Putting away digital devices like phones and turning off the TV during this time can help your brain adjust to signals that it’s soon time to sleep. This is a great time to explore calming activities that help you relax from a stressful day — try some gentle stretches, a warm bath, or a few minutes of meditation.
If you're a smoker, taking steps to reduce and eventually entirely quit cigarettes is one of the greatest things you can do for your heart. The National Institutes of Health reports that former smokers reduced their risk of heart disease by as much as 50% after quitting.
U.S. Doctors’ Clinical has many heart-focused formulas to help you on your journey to better cardiovascular health. In addition to specialized blends addressing key heart health issues, our HeartHealth vitamineral herbal complex and Omega 3Q10 supercharged fish oil are great ways to support overall cardiovascular function and oxygen usage during activity.*
All of our formulas are backed by our Clinical Advisory Board of Doctors, expert health professionals who understand the importance of nutrition in health. And, as with any diet or exercise changes, your regular practitioner can help figure out a great plan of action for you and your heart.