Dr. Mehmet Oz knows all too well what makes people—and their hearts—tick. He’s director of the Cardiovascular Institute and Complementary Medicine Program at New York Presbyterian Hospital and professor of surgery at Columbia University in New York City.
As a cardiologist, Dr. Oz suggests that we use these seven tips to find the joy in adopting heart-healthy lifestyle changes – and making them fun. “You absolutely can prevent and virtually reverse heart disease by making these sensible lifestyle changes,” he said in an interview with Heart Healthy Living magazine this month.
- #1: Get rid of belly fat: “This type of fat squeezes the kidneys, poisons the liver, raises blood pressure, increases inflammation, and blocks the ability of insulin to work,” says Dr. Oz.
- #2: Take a deep breath. Repeat. “Deep breathing helps as a mini meditation that counters the toxic effects of stress. It’s like hitting your reset button!” Dr. Ox says.
- #3: Listen to guided imagery tapes or CDs: “I’ve fallen in love with guided imagery,” says Dr. Oz. “It calms my patients, and studies have shown that it can absolutely help the body heal.” He worked with a leading guided imagery expert to create a special CD for people undergoing cardiac rehab.
- #4: Keep your health numbers low: Dr. Oz recommends that heart patients get basic lab tests to monitor cholesterol, blood sugar, and blood pressure - and that you work toward keeping your numbers for blood pressure, blood sugar, and LDL (bad) cholesterol a bit lower than the target figures your doctor may recommend.
- #5: Stop drinking pop: “One of the easiest and best things you can do for your heart is to simply stop drinking sweetened sodas and other sugary beverages,” says Dr. Oz. “A large glass of soda has around 169 calories. Over the course of a day, you’ll take in way more calories than you need and get zero nutrition from them.”
- #6: Rev up your exercise program: Aside from those daily walks, “You have to stress your heart with vigorous exercise at least twice a week for 30 minutes each session,” he reminds us. ’That means exercising at a revved-up rate ’til you’re somewhat out of breath.”
- #7: Use music therapy and aromatherapy: In a recent Japanese study, when subjects inhaled the aroma of lavender, it reduced their blood levels of the “stress hormone,” cortisol, and increased blood circulation to the heart.
Learn more details about these tips from Dr. Oz in the rest of this Heart Healthy Living article.
What do you think? Share your opinion below.