3 Heart-Healthy Habits

By on September 16, 2014

Baby Boomer Heart Health

Statistics from The Heart Foundation:

  • Heart disease remains the number one cause of death for both men and women in the United States, claiming approximately 1 million lives annually.
  • This year more than 920,000 Americans will have a heart attack; nearly half of them will occur without prior symptoms or warning signs.
  • One-half of the victims of Sudden Cardiac Death are under the age of 65.

Baby boomers, please pay attention. This is scary stuff for folks our age!

Considering these statistics, I don’t think it takes a rocket scientist to figure out something is broken. Either the medical profession is failing us on the heart health front, or we are killing ourselves with bad habits faster than they can develop medicines to save us.

Maybe it’s a little of both, but for my money, it’s all about lifestyle.

If I can add heart-healthy foods to my diet, find time for a little exercise, and establish a few other beneficial habits, I am willing to bet my heart will stay healthy—

I can beat the statistics, and so can you.

  1. For starters, we are what we eat, and eating right is just a matter of adding heart-healthy foods and ingredients to our grocery lists. Once you form a habit of stocking the fridge and pantry with healthy food choices, the rest is easy—just eat!
  2. As for exercise, you don’t need to train like a marathon runner to have a healthy heart. Just add some common sense activities.
  3. Last, but not least, relax! We all need to find ways to reduce stress.

Let’s look at some new habits!

Habit Number 1: Heart-Healthy Grocery Shopping – add these items to your list.

  • Coffee and Tea: Recent studies show drinking coffee and tea reduces the risk of heart attack and stroke. I alternate coffee and green tea. (For healthier coffee, add some Cinnamon.)
  • Oatmeal: Good old oatmeal is loaded with heart-healthy fiber and omega-3 fatty acids. Coffee and oatmeal for breakfast, sounds good to me!
  • Beans: Adding a serving of kidney, navy, pinto, black, chickpea, or butter beans to your daily diet will lower your cholesterol levels.
  • Salmon: Omega-3 fatty acids found in salmon help lower bad LDL cholesterol, raise good HDL cholesterol, and lower triglyceride levels. You can also add Omega-3 fatty acids to your diet with Fish Oil supplements.
  • Avocado: The avocado is a health superfood. In addition to being heart-healthy, the avocado brings many more health benefits to your table. Add avocado to almost any dish, and break out the guacamole! (More Avocado info HERE.)
  • Tomatoes: Tomatoes are loaded with disease preventing lycopene. Cooking does not diminish the heart-healthy benefits. Hmmm, sounds like salsa and guacamole!
  • Herbs and Spices: Basil, cilantro, garlic, oregano, parsley, rosemary, cayenne or chili pepper, and cinnamon all benefit heart health. We make it a habit to add herbs and spices to every recipe. See our Dynamic Dozen of healthy herbs and spices HERE.
  • Spinach: Lutein-rich spinach helps prevent clogged arteries. A salad of spinach and other green veggies with a serving of beans, and topped with avocado and olive oil is a heart-healthy combo.
  • Walnuts, Cashews, and Almonds: I am nuts about nuts! They make a terrific snack and are good source of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, vitamins and minerals.
  • Chocolate: Dark chocolate is loaded with heart- healthy antioxidants. Dark chocolate—need I say more. (Okay, maybe I should say something about moderation…)
  • Asparagus: This delicious veggie is packed with heart-healthy vitamin K, potassium, and provides cholesterol-fighting fiber. For a heart-healthy superfood, roast asparagus tossed with a mixture of olive oil, sea salt, herbs and spices.
  • Kale: Kale is another heart-healthy superfood. Its list of heart benefits is too long to list here. Kale chips are a tasty alternative to kale salads and smoothies. Find a quick and easy Kale Chip recipe HERE.
  • Oranges, Apples, and Blueberries: Oranges supply pectin and potassium to the heart-healthy diet. Apples and blueberries are loaded with cholesterol fighting antioxidants.
  • Red Wine: Not that I needed another reason to pour a glass of red, but now that I know it’s heart-healthy, make it two! (I know, I know—moderation!) For non-wine lovers, research also tells me dark beers have the same beneficial ingredients.
  • Additional Heart Healthy Foods: Broccoli, carrots, sweet potato, whole grains, tuna, brown rice, cantaloupe and bananas all belong on your heart-healthy grocery list.

Habit Number 2: Exercise

  • The American Heart Association recommends 30 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise 5-times per week to prevent heart disease and stroke. Here’s the kicker, you get the same benefit even when you break the daily 30-minutes into two, fifteen-minute sessions. Can you form a habit of two 15-minute walks five times a week?
  • You can substitute 25-minutes of vigorous activity 3-times per week if you prefer.
  • HIIT Training: For the more fit among us, consider the benefits of High Intensity Interval Training to boost your cardiovascular health. See more information and a demo video HERE.
  • Poor Health and Chronically Ill: It should be understood, if you are in poor health, consult your doctor before beginning any exercise program.

Habit Number 3: Relaxation

  • Make time for you! We all need to find a few minutes (or more) each day to decompress. I’m sure you have a favorite activity or two that reduces stress. Here are a few of mine.
  • Spend some quiet time with a terrific book or relaxing music.
  • Take a walk. (De-stress and exercise at the same time!)
  • Stretch Get up, move around, stretch your neck, shoulder and back muscles.
  • Try a short meditation or a deep breathing session. Here’s a link to a quick meditation/breathing YouTube video to use whenever you need a bit of relaxation. For a more involved meditation, try Dr. Wayne Dyer’s, In The Gap.
  • Laugh! Laughter is still the best medicine. Find a reason to get your giggle on at least once a day!

Quick Reference Chart

I put together a quick reference chart of the Three Heart Healthy Habits for easy reference. Download it HERE.

Please help your fellow baby boomers by sharing your heart-healthy ideas in the comments section below.

Until next time,

Stay Heart Healthy – Don’t Become A Statistic!

Editor, BoomerKnowHow.com


Are you at a turning point where you want to take control of your health?

Baby Boomers Heart Matter

Do you feel you’ve tried everything to “eat healthy” but still feel lethargic and foggy? 

Are you wanting to try a natural way of eating and living and don’t know where to start?

Is your body craving a detox and rejuvenation and you don’t know what to do?

Boomers Know How recommends the Heart Freedom Boxed Set from Food Matters!




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