We can’t control everything about our health, such as our family history and genetics, but we CAN control behaviors that contribute to better vascular health. Here are my top five suggestions:
- Don’t smoke – if you do, quit!! Not only is smoking bad for your lungs, it is very hard on your vascular system.
- Exercise – being active is an essential ingredient for a healthy and happy life…not to mention happy veins and arteries. Aim for at least 30 minutes most days.
- Maintain a healthy weight – carrying around too much weight, especially around the middle, puts a tremendous strain on your heart and vascular system, not to mention your joints. Being overweight can also lead to diabetes and other chronic diseases that put additional burdens on the delicate system that transports blood throughout your body.
- Eat a healthy diet – in other words, eat REAL food! Try a wide variety of colorful and flavorful fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and good fats. Avoid packaged and processed foods if you can. And reduce the amount you eat out.
- Drink alcohol only in moderation if at all – no more than one drink a day for women and 1-2 drinks for men.
The only other tip I have is to see your primary care provider regularly. Get all health screenings that are recommended for you.