We all love making New Year's resolutions, and the latest wellness report explains why you should make a resolution to show your heart a little bit of love. NY1's Jill Urban filed the following report.
The new year is a time for resolutions, and there is no better change you can make for yourself that working to maintain a healthy heart.
"Cardiovascular disease is an entirely preventable disease, and if you get assessed early enough to know your risk, you can actually reduce your risk tremendously of developing heart disease in the future," says Dr. Eugenia Gianos of NYU Langone Medical Center.
Gianos says that now is a good time to remind people of the ways to reduce the risk for heart disease. Those with diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure or a family history should talk to their doctor about risk management, but everyone should be conscious of the role lifestyle plays improving heart health. We may have heard it before, but it's important to say it again.
"Anyone who is still smoking should really consider getting to programs that will help them quit because even if you had some degree of plaque development or damage from the smoking, you still reduce your risk of heart disease significantly if you do manage to quit," Gianos says.
Diet and weight control are also important. Remember, eating things that are heart healthy can change your long-term risk, even if you're already on medication. So that means more fruits, vegetables and whole grains, and fewer fatty foods.
"One of the worst components of diet is trans fats," Gianos says. "In addition, saturated fat has been shown in some studies to significantly increase your risk, so reducing the amount of saturated fat in your diet is extremely important. And increasing fiber to lower your cholesterol is also very important."
It only takes 30 to 60 minutes a day of physical activity to stay on top of your ticker.
Last, listen to your body. Don't neglect some common symptoms.
"If you are noticing any new symptoms that are different in terms of your ability to exercise, maybe your exercise capacity, feeling more tired, noticing chest pain or shortness of breath with exertion, these are symptoms that you should have assessed by a physician," Gianos says.
There is no time like the new year to remind us what we can do to show our hearts a little love.