Eye on Health: Maintaining heart health


The American Heart Association says 2,300 Americans die of cardiovascular disease each day.

That's an average of 1 death every 38 seconds.

But you don't have to be part of that statistic. Medical professionals in Goshen say some simple changes to your diet and light physical activity can put you on the path to good heart health.

“A healthy diet can support the heart in several different ways,” said Sandi Morris, Clinical Nutrition Manager for Goshen Health.

She spends her days teaching people how to properly eat to take care of their heart

“We have a whole month dedicate to our hearts, why is that? – We want to focus on that because there are so many people that die of heart attacks, have strokes, heart failure that it can be debilitating to much of the population,” Morris said.

February is American Heart Health Month. A time to remind the nation to pay closer attention to the essential organ in their body. Morris says, eating the right foods can make all the difference.

“Just a quarter of your plate should be your grains, the higher the fiber the better. It helps with the heart health to have more fiber in the diet,” Morris said.

But she says, think twice before you ask to pass the salt. Eating right is only half the battle.

While Morris focuses on the food to fuel the muscle, Matthew Thomas works with patients to keep it strong.

“So for us, 150 minutes a week is our goal,” Thomas said.

He says, you don't need much physical activity to get your body and heart in good shape.

“We don't have to be marathon runners, riding in the tour de France. These crazy volumes of exercise. 10 minute walks throughout the day accumulating to 30 minutes a day can be enough to get that 150 minutes for the week,” he said.

But he says not all physical movement is considered exercise.

“All exercise is physically activity. Not all physical activity is exercise,” he said.

Just a few things to keep in mind this February-- cleaning up your diet and light exercise can keep your heart in check.

Thomas says exercise would be considered continuous movement for a specific amount of time.

He says, it's something planned and done with the intention to benefit your health.

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