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Improve your heart health with this checklist

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Photo: Andrey_Popov ((((Shutterstock).

If you want to reduce the chance of premature death from a heart attack or stroke, you’ve probably heard of several ways to do that. Exercise more, Eat “good fat” Maybe pay attention to heart health indicators With a smartwatch..But therere a Many Understanding some of the things that seem good to us, and sometimes where to start, is a bit overwhelming.

Fortunately, the American Heart Association has tools to categorize personal and lifestyle risk factors into eight categories. AHA already had a similar 7-point model, but it was named because it just released an updated version called “Life’s Essential 8”. Added sleep As one of the factors.There is online quiz It makes it easy to understand where you are standing.

The categories they are looking at are:

  • sleepy.. Adults need to get 7-9 hours each night and children need to get more time.
  • Nicotine exposure.. This used to be “smoking”, but it is also important to breathe nicotine vapor.
  • Physical activity..We should all get Moderate exercise for at least 150 minutes (walking count), Or strenuous exercise that counts twice. Children need to get 1 hour a day.
  • diet.. A healthy diet is defined here as a diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, and fish.
  • weight.. AHA admits that BMI is “incomplete”, but because it fills out the form online, it needs some simple indicators to estimate body composition. They consider a BMI score of less than 25 to be a good sign of heart health.
  • Blood glucose level.. This tool requires the final test result of fasting blood glucose or hemoglobin a1c (indicating the status of blood glucose over a long period of time).
  • cholesterol.. Total cholesterol and non-HDL cholesterol levels for this item.
  • blood pressure.. Ideally, it should be less than 128/80.

If you want a ballpark feel of where you are standing, you can probably look into this list and do the following: Yyes. You can see what’s missing. Click for more information My life check tool (It’s free, but registration is required) and answer the question.

Most are pretty easy, but when I got to the diet questionnaire, I was: Wait. Do they want to know how many serving vegetables I have a week?How many servings conduct Do I have a week? (I have similar questions about other foods such as fruits, beans, lean meats, fish / seafood, butter, sweets, etc.) I made the best guess and proceeded. It also took some time to add up the normal weekly exercise time.

One of the trickiest things about this tool is that you have to enter values ​​for cholesterol and blood glucose test results. I didn’t have those values ​​at hand, so I had to make some supplements just to be able to click on the next screen.

A score of 93.8 is displayed in the circle on the left.On the right side, you will see the following headings: "Improvement" And below that, the icon "eat well." Then there is a labeled heading "celebrate," And there are other factors: becoming active, losing weight, quitting smoking, lowering blood sugar, controlling blood pressure, controlling cholesterol, sleeping.

screenshot: American Heart Association

Ultimately, you will get a numerical score in the range 0-100. I worked pretty well with 93.8. The values ​​of the lab I created must have been good! The above eight bullets appear under the two headings “Improve” and “Celebrate”. For example, smoking and physical activity were a celebration for me because I don’t smoke and live mostly in the gym. On the other hand, it was mentioned as an improvement in eating habits, so I ate too much pastry and ran out of vegetables.

Average American The score is about 65, According to AHA. They consider anything less than 50 to be “bad” heart health and anything above 80 to be “high”.

As always, we shouldn’t make major life decisions based on online quizzes. But if you’re trying to understand what’s most important, a tool like this can help. You may be overthinking which vegetables to include in your diet, forgetting how important it is to quit smoking or increase sleep. So if you want to know where to start, try this tool.

Improve your heart health with this checklist

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