Did you know the health of your brain and your heart are connected? By keeping your heart healthy, you also lower your risk for brain problems such as stroke and dementia. Learn more about the connection between the heart and brain and steps to take to keep both healthy.
Steps to a Healthy Brain and Heart
Heart disease, stroke, and vascular dementia are preventable. Take steps to reduce your risk.
Control your blood pressure. High blood pressure is a leading cause of heart disease and stroke. Over time, high blood pressure puts too much stress on blood vessels. Scientists now know that having uncontrolled high blood pressure in midlife also raises your risk for dementia later in life.
Know your numbers by getting your blood pressure checked regularly.
Eat healthy foods and limit alcohol. Eat plenty of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and low-fat dairy, and include seafood rich in omega-3 fatty acids (such as salmon) each week.
Limit foods with added sugars and saturated fats, and lower your sodium (salt) intake. If you drink alcohol, drink in moderation.
Get diabetes under control. Diabetes causes high blood sugar, which can damage blood vessels and nerves.
Don’t smoke. Smoking damages blood vessels and makes blood more likely to clot, which can lead to heart disease and stroke.
Stay Active. Lack of physical activity can lead to high blood pressure and obesity. Find ways to get your heart pumping for at least 150 minutes per week. Take the stairs, schedule a walk at lunch, or do jumping jacks during commercial breaks while watching television.