Timely car maintenance is usually high on people’s to-do lists; but proper heart maintenance often gets left off completely.
Experts at Utah Valley Hospital want to remind people that one is just as important as the other.
John Mitchell, MD, a cardiothoracic surgeon at Utah Valley says, “Proper care and maintenance of your heart is vital to prevent high blood pressure and possible heart disease later in life.”
“Our hearts are the engines of our bodies, much like the Hemi engine of a muscle car. You’d take the proper care to maintain your car’s engine; it’s time you treat your body’s engine the same.”
Dr. Mitchell said everyone needs to focus on following three essential components for proper heart maintenance:
Proper fuel – Fueling your car properly reduces carbon build-up in the engine, just like proper eating reduces the amount of cholesterol in your blood stream. Limit your fat and cholesterol intake and eat one-half plate of fruits and vegetables at lunch and at dinner.
Regular exercise – If you left your car in the garage and never took it out for a drive, it wouldn’t start properly when you need it. The same thing applies to your body. Aim to get your heart rate over 100 for 45 minutes a day. Another great goal is to reach 10,000 steps daily.
Appropriate downtime – Just like your car need pit stops, your body needs the right amount of rest. Try to get at least eight hours of sleep a night.
If you don’t get the recommended amount, your heart rate beats faster and your blood pressure stays continually high. This puts you at risk of heart disease and even worse, a heart attack.
Following these three simple tips “equal a healthy, happier heart” and extend the life of our engine, and our heart. Taking care of your heart now can prevent high blood pressure or other heart issues later.