Your annual physical or other health screening may have given you some important information about your overall health. These numbers, called “biometrics,” usually include heart disease risk factors like:
- Blood pressure
- Weight, height and waist size
- Cholesterol levels, both good (HDL) and bad (LDL)
- Blood glucose
These numbers are important, but so are some numbers that can help you make a real improvement in your heart health and lower risk factors for heart attacks, stroke and other diseases.
Lifestyle numbers that add up to a healthy heart
5: Fruits and Veggies
An apple a day is a good start, but aim for five or more daily servings of fresh fruit and vegetables. This reduces your chance of getting conditions that lead to cardiovascular disease, like diabetes, hypertension and obesity.
5–10: Weight Loss
Losing weight can seem overwhelming, but even just a 5 to 10 percent loss can make a significant improvement in your heart health.
0: No Tobacco Smoke
Reduce your tobacco smoke exposure to zero, and you’ll greatly reduce your chances of getting heart disease. In fact, even if you have heart disease, stopping smoking can lower your risk of recurring heart attacks and cardiac-related death by as much as 50 percent.
8–10: Drink Water
Getting eight to 10 glasses of water each day helps you stay hydrated. Well-hydrated blood is a lot easier for your heart to pump through your body.
7: Meal Planning
Take a weekend day to plan and shop for seven days of meals. A little advance planning will keep you focused on heart-healthy foods and away from snacks and fast food.
Most adults should get seven to nine hours of sleep each night. In addition to making you more alert and productive, studies show proper sleep reduces your risk of heart disease.
Getting at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise most days of the week will put you on the road to heart health. Look for ways to add exercise throughout the day—a 10-minute stretch in the morning, a walk at lunch, and a few trips up and down the stairs instead of the elevator.
1: Your Heart
The most important number is 1—you only have one heart, so be sure to know all your numbers to keep it as healthy as possible.
+: Stay Positive
There are some things you can’t put a number on. Like keeping your heart healthy with positive emotions and spiritual awareness. This works like medicine and can help lower your stress hormones and blood pressure.
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Want to learn your biometric numbers? Our doctors can help! Find one near you:
- Portland – 503-433-3420
- Tillamook – 503-815-2292
- Walla Walla – 509-527-8151