In honor of National Heart Health Awareness Month, Dr. Jamey Wallace, ND, Chief Medical Officer at Bastyr Center for Natural Health in Seattle, is sharing three ways to live healthier lives and keep our hearts in shape.
Manage Your Stress: According to Dr. Wallace, you need to recognize that not all stress in your life is bad. While stress can be harmful, some stress is necessary for a healthy heart. Turning a stressful situation into a learning experience can be good stress. Your heart is a muscle and uses coping skills to manage this stress. If something is bothering you and creating stress, it’s best not to bottle up. Instead, identify it and talk about it with either the source, friend, or therapist.
Exercise: We all know exercise is an important part of staying healthy but how much we actually do it is what matters. Dr. Wallace shares that we don’t need to start a new intense workout routine to be healthy. Instead start a moderate exercise routine consisting of walking two times a day. This can be for 15 minutes at a time and you can gradually build up from there. Always check with your doctor before starting a new workout routine.
Nutrition: Eat a whole foods diet and avoid processed foods which contain trans-fat. Whole foods also have lower levels of sodium, more fiber, and healthier fats. Dr. Wallace stressed that it’s important to understand that not all fat is bad. Cutting all fat out of your diet is not the solution to being healthy.
You need healthy fats in your diet which can include fish oil and omega-3 oil. If you’re eating the right diet, you should be getting these healthy fats in what you eat. For example, avocado, free-range organic meats and organic eggs are a great source of Omega 3 oil. These fats can lower bad LDL cholesterol and raise good HDL cholesterol.