Your heart. You need it, so we’re going to help you keep it healthy - from the moment you wake up until your head hits the pillow.
When you first wake up check your blood pressure. First thing in the morning is an ideal time to get a base reading. And know this: Your risk of cardiovascular disease starts to increase if your reading is anything above 115 over 75. You can keep tabs on your numbers by investing in a portable home monitor – or checking it at most phramacies.
Next: Fuel up with oatmeal for breakfast. It’s one of the best cholesterol-lowering foods, and contains antioxidants that keep plaque from forming in the arteries. My favorite - and the best kind - is steel-cut. You can even get steel-cut oatmeal that can be made in the microwave now.
When mid-morning hits skip that third cup of coffee and drink a glass of green tea. It’s also rich in antioxidants and promotes healthy blood flow for at least 30 minutes after you drink it.
During mid-afternoon: If you can, take a 15 minute nap. Studies find that people who nap regularly are 37 percent LESS likely to die of coronary disease.
Then, after your healthy dinner take a walk. Mild physical activity within an hour after eating helps with digestion and takes stress off the heart.
Before bed: Don’t forget to floss! People with gum disease are more prone to heart disease.
And finally: SLEEP! Not only will this stave off obesity, but research shows that the number of heart attacks increases the day after daylight savings begins, when we’ve lost an hour of sleep. But the number dips the day after we turn the clocks back - gaining an hour. Shoot for at least 7 hours of shut-eye.