In honor of Heart Health Month this February, Vionic challenges you to take a step toward healthy living! Andrew Weil, renowned doctor of integrative medicine and a Vionic Innovation Lab member, weighs in with three important tips to benefit your journey. “For many people, simple lifestyle changes, rather than drugs or surgery, comprise the best route to achieve cardiac fitness,” he says. Read on to find out more about how to improve your heart health.
Step 1: Know Your History
Dr. Weil himself has a predisposition to heart issues, as they run in his family. “My father had a mild first heart attack when he was 49 years old,” he says. “Later on, he had two coronary bypass operations, and was able to live until he was 81. My father was a smoker and his diet was not at all good by my standards, but I think there was a genetic propensity, because my grandfather on that side had died of a heart attack at age 50. Also, his wife – my grandmother – had coronary artery disease and angina.”
If you know that heart disease runs in your family, make sure to get regular checkups. If you’re interested in a preliminary step to assessing your heart health, take Dr. Weil’s free diagnostic quiz here.
Step 2: Exercise
“Let me say at the outset that I am a great believer in the benefits of sensible, moderate exercise for healthy living,” he says. “I ask all people who come to me for medical consultations questions about their exercise habits, and I frequently urge them to make changes, usually in the direction of increasing the time they spend at physical activity. The advice I give comes from my own experience as someone who hated exercise for much of his life and now does not feel right if a day goes by without some form of it.”
Step 3: Enjoy a Healthy Diet
We all know that eating healthfully provides myriad benefits, not least of all for your heart. “One of my motivations for becoming a vegetarian, exercising daily and adopting a healthy lifestyle was I knew my family history and I saw the potential for problems,” says Dr. Weil.
Check out some of his quick and easy, heart-healthy recipes from his latest cook book, Fast Food, Good Food here.