1-Minute Tip: Season with spice. Instead of reaching for the salt to add that extra zip, consider using a spice. Eating highly salted foods raises the sodium content in your bloodstream which can increase your blood pressure. High blood pressure results in an increased risk for heart attacks and strokes, so think twice before adding more salt.
5-Minute Tip: Schedule a screening. Starting at age 18, it’s important to get your blood pressure checked regularly. If it’s been a while since your last check-up, take five minutes and schedule an appointment with your doctor. You can also check out El Camino Health’s events page for our next no-charge, no-appointment-necessary screening.
15-Minute Tip: Create a daily menu. Sit down for 15 minutes each evening and write out a menu for the next day. When selecting foods for each snack and meal, emphasize vegetables, fruits and whole grains. Choose lean protein sources, such as fish or chicken, and healthy fats like avocados or nuts. Making a conscious effort to stick to this menu will have you on your way to a heart-healthy diet in no time.
30-Minute Tip: Mix up the motion. Consistent exercise can lower your blood pressure and cholesterol as well as help maintain a healthy weight. The Surgeon General recommends getting two and a half hours of moderate-intensity exercise every week. So get up and get moving — even a short burst of exercise every day adds up! Throw on your favorite playlist for 30 minutes and dance like nobody’s watching. Mix it up the next day by catching up with a friend while taking a 30 minute power walk.
This article first appeared in the February 2020 edition of the HealthPerks newsletter.