5 Healthy Lifestyle Behaviors to Support Heart Health

A new study is out, and the results are clear: There are five health habits that support heart health. While this specific study was done on men, a previous study suggests a similar effect in women.

Before we get to what those behaviors are, let’s look at some of the discoveries from the study. These five behaviors may:

  • Prevent nearly 80 percent of heart health issues
  • Increase a person’s number of healthy, vital years

Those are incredible findings! Adding just five health habits equals remarkable benefits for your heart.

Yet although these habits are necessary to supporting well-being, only 1 percent of study participants fit into the “ultra-healthy-living category.” That means that just 207 of the 20,721 men who participated in the study had the five healthy lifestyle behaviors. If we extend that to the general population, that would mean that only one in every 100 people are incorporating these habits into their lives. I want to change that number.

Here are the five behaviors you can work into your lifestyle today, according to the study:

1 Eat a balanced diet

The study found that men who ate a diet rich in beneficial foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts, reduced-fat dairy and whole grains were more likely to have healthy hearts.

2 Exercise regularly

The healthiest men in the study cycled or walked at least 40 minutes per day.

3 Maintain a healthy weight

The findings show that men should have no “abdominal adiposity,” also known as belly fat, and a waist circumference of less than 37.5 inches.

4 Drink moderately

The study suggests that men should drink only moderately, which is about one drink per day or less. I recommend red wine for its heart health benefits.

5 Don’t smoke

If you already smoke, the study findings show that quitting is an important component in supporting heart health. And if you don’t smoke, it’s best to never start.

 

By adopting these five lifestyle behaviors, you support heart health and longevity. Start with one behavior at a time, and slowly modify your lifestyle until you include all five. And if you’re ready to get heart-healthy, here is a four-week plan to healthier habits.

 

What healthy lifestyle behaviors do you do every day to support heart health?