Having an understanding of your health as a whole is important. We stress the importance of having a healthy MSK system, and do our best to provide you with as much information and tips on how to achieve this. Part of having a healthy MSK system is in the steps you take towards maintaining and improving your cardiovascular health. Interestingly, cardiovascular disease rivals MSK conditions in terms of overall burden. So, to benefit long-term health, both need to be addressed. Preventing heart disease is important to maintaining your independence and quality of life.
There are specific behaviours that should be avoided, and others adopted to promote good cardiovascular health. The American Heart Association1 suggests the following to improve overall cardiovascular health:
- Perform at least 150 minutes per week of moderate exercise or 75 minutes per week of vigorous exercise (or a combination of moderate and vigorous activity).
- It is recommended to do a minimum of 30 minutes a day of physical activity, five times a week
- Your exercise routine can be divided into two or three segments of 10 to 15 minutes per day
Staying active can provide great benefit to the heart. Activities that promote aerobic capacity such as walking, jogging, swimming or biking provide an excellent benefit to the heart.
Certain lifestyle choices can adversely affect our cardiovascular health as well. By making better choices you can help prevent cardiovascular disease in your future2:
- Avoid smoking
- Eating your fruits and vegetables
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Get 7-9 hours of sleep each night
- Ensure you are screened by your healthcare provider if at risk of cardiovascular disease
Sometimes it’s difficult to make better choices – it may seem easier to eat fast food, or to watch television on the couch rather than go the gym. However, making good choices now can help you maintain and enhance your health for years to come. The more we learn about how our habits can affect the health of our body and heart, the more informed choices we can make for a healthier life.
Consider building a healthcare team! Collaborative healthcare is a great way to care for your overall health. Find out more on partnering with other healthcare providers so you can achieve maximum health.
1 American Heart Association, “American Heart Association Recommendations for Physical Activity in Adults,” Aug 17, 2015. http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/PhysicalActivity/FitnessBasics/American-Heart-Association-Recommendations-for-Physical-Activity-in-Adults_UCM_307976_Article.jsp#
2 Mayo Clinic, “Strategies to Prevent Heart Disease,” http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/heart-disease/in-depth/heart-disease-prevention/art-20046502