Exercise and eating right lead the way to a healthier heart

Suzanne Hennings, ARNP, MSN, knows the right kinds of foods can make a big difference in heart health.

“One tip I live by is following the Mediterranean diet, which includes 10 servings of fruit and vegetables a day and limiting red meat to a few times a month,” she says. The diet also calls for substituting extra virgin olive oil for butter or other saturated fats.

Suzanne Hennings, ARNP and her family

“I have increased fish to twice a week and utilize lean ground turkey in favor of ground beef.  These are simple strategies that can make a big difference in your health,” she says.

Hennings also recommends making time for regular exercise.

 “It has a multitude of benefits that not only benefit the heart but also helps to let off steam, manage stress, deal with the rigors of a busy schedule and help to release endorphins,” she says.  “I typically run three times a week and strength train twice a week. Even a brisk walk when I can't get out for a run is helpful.”

Hennings says the American Heart Association recommends 2 1/2 hours moderate activity five days a week to reduce mortality, lower blood pressure, as well as regulate blood sugars and maintain a healthy weight.

Last reviewed: 
January 2019

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