Published on February 16, 2022

Two Steps Toward a Happy Heart

man holding silver decorative heart

DO what you can to improve your heart health & DON’T ignore warning signs

In today’s confusing world of medical recommendations, one thing that remains unchanged is the importance of prevention.

There has been much talk about treatment options for diseases, but more should be said about preventing disease. You can take steps to improve your health, lower your chance of heart disease and improve your outcomes if you have already been diagnosed with a heart condition.

I see patients do the best when they adhere to these two principles:

1. Move! People who do not move typically do not have great health. The more sedentary you are, the more likely you are to have health problems. With the clearance of your health care provider, you should aim for 150 minutes of moderate exercise or 75 minutes of high intensity exercise each week. The benefits of exercise are numerous. Exercise over time can strengthen your heart, boost your mood, lower your blood pressure, help with weight loss, and decrease chronic inflammation as well as your risk of diabetes.

2. Eat your veggies! A healthy diet rich in vegetables will do wonders to improve energy and decrease your risk of disease. I often recommend the Mediterranean diet to my patients. It is not really a diet where you must count calories and so forth, but a lifestyle of gravitating toward certain food groups. Regularly eating these foods can reduce heart disease and risk of stroke. It can also decrease your risk of developing other chronic diseases. The Mediterranean diet primarily focuses on vegetables, fruits, beans, nuts, olive oil, herbs and spices, fish and lean meat. You can find out more about this diet at Mayoclinic.org by typing “Mediterranean diet” in the search bar.

Following these recommendations will help significantly improve your health and well-being. It is also important to not ignore warning symptoms of heart trouble. If you or a loved one experience any or a combination of the following symptoms, please seek medical help:

  • Chest pain or discomfort of any kind
  • Chest pain radiating to your jaw, arm, back, or throat
  • New or worsening shortness of breath
  • Swelling of your legs or new onset fluid retention
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Fluttering/racing/pounding of your heart
  • Dizziness, fainting
  • Pain in the back of your legs when walking

Our team of Michael Boland, M.D., FACC, Lauren Holliman, NP-C and I will be happy to see you at Amory Cardiology Clinic. For an appointment, please call (662) 257-6765.