Heart Health: The New “Life’s Essential 8” List


ORLANDO, FL (Ivanhoe Newswire) — February is American Heart Month. You may have heard of “Life’s Essential Seven.” It’s a list of the top seven ways to improve and maintain heart health. But now the American Heart Association has updated their list to include an eighth habit. Heart health

It is your heart.

But to keep it running, you do have to do regular maintenance. If you want to improve your heart health, the American Heart Association has a list of eight keyways and that number used to be seven.

Pamela Rama, MD, FACC, Cardiologist at Baptist Health in Jacksonville, FL says “What they’ve added now is the duration of sleep that people have, because it turns out that sleep is such an important factor for cardiovascular health.”

The recommendation is that most adults get seven to nine hours of sleep each night. The organization says that adequate sleep promotes healing, improves brain function, and lessens the risk for chronic diseases.

Doctor Rama says, “So when you don’t sleep, there is an overdrive of your sympathetic system. And so, what is happening when you are awake is that your blood pressure never gets to go down. Your heart rate does not ever get to relax.”

The other habits on the life’s essential eight list are: eating a healthy diet, getting two and half hours of moderate or 75 minutes of vigorous physical activity a week, quitting smoking, keeping a healthy weight, and managing cholesterol, blood sugar, and blood pressure levels.

There’s also a life’s essential eight for kids. They include living a balanced life of exercise and healthy eating, consuming less sugar, the importance of clean air, finding ways to relieve stress, and getting a good night’s sleep without distractions. To find the complete list you can go to the American Heart Association website.





Contributors to this news report include: Julie Marks, Producer; Bob Walko, Editor.

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