A Powerful Routine for a Healthy Heart

A healthy heart is key to your overall well-being. This daily routine includes the best nutrition, exercise, and lifestyle habits to support heart health.

By Dr. Heather Shenkman

8 minute read

Last Updated August 6, 2021

A Powerful Routine for a Healthy Heart

The heart is responsible for delivering oxygen and nutrients to the organs and tissues of your body. Age-related changes are inevitable, and without proper attention, these changes can throw off the balance of proper cholesterol levels, blood sugar levels, and other essential components to a healthy heart. 

Being proactive about heart health can help keep this balance in-check. Taking a holistic approach to heart health is one of the best ways to be proactive. It allows you to develop a routine that incorporates healthy food choices, regular exercise, and natural supplements that work synergistically to promote heart health from every angle.

Support Heart Health Every Day

A daily routine can help you stick with healthy habits, which help structure your day and make the difference between operating at optimal health levels or risking common health issues. A holistic approach that includes a properly planned daily routine, similar to the one provided here, can ensure you get the best nutrition, exercise, and lifestyle habits to support heart health and achieve long-term health goals. 

6:00 – 7:00 am:

Drink water to rehydrate. Your body loses water overnight, so you’ll need to replenish. Dehydration also negatively affects your cardiovascular system, reducing your blood volume or the amount of blood circulating throughout your body. Staying hydrated promotes healthier circulation, supporting the delivery of nutrients and oxygen through the body while also ensuring that you perform your best while exercising.

Some may like to start their day with coffee or tea. Caffeine is a stimulant that will increase alertness and can support your exercise performance, especially with your morning workouts. However, go easy on the sweeteners and creamers, as they can add extra sugars and calories to your diet. Also, keep in mind that caffeine is a diuretic, so it is wise to drink water in addition to your coffee.

7:00 – 7:30 am:

30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise is a good goal for many, but if you are not feeling very fit, even as little as 5 minutes of exercise will provide heart health benefits. While exercise at any time of the day will promote overall health, a morning workout:

♦ permits you to exercise with fewer distractions
♦ helps you beat the heat if it’s a warm day
♦ provides you with more energy for your day
♦ allows you to burn more fat during the day
♦ helps regulate appetite 

One simple way for many to get exercise is to lace up your shoes and take a brisk walk. Or, you may enjoy a spin or interval training class in a studio, or a video fitness class from home. Yoga in the morning can promote flexibility, mobility, and overall strength while supporting heart health through lowered blood pressure levels.

7:30 – 7:45 am:

Enjoy a smoothie for breakfast. It’s a great way to take in fruits and vegetables that will provide you with essential vitamins and minerals to support optimal heart health. To get you started, try this delicious smoothie recipe.

♦ 1 large ripe banana
♦ 1 cup strawberries, fresh or frozen
♦ ½ cup of any green leafy vegetable, such as spinach or kale
♦ 1 large carrot or 4 baby carrots
♦ 1 cup plant milk 
♦ 1 tablespoon chia or flax seeds

There are so many combinations of fruits, vegetables, plant milks, and seeds, so experiment in your kitchen to make your favorite version of a smoothie. In addition to your morning heart-healthy smoothie, the right supplement can provide your heart with beneficial ingredients. 

CholestMD®

If you are looking to support healthy HDL and LDL cholesterol levels, a daily dose of CholestMD® with patented Bergavit® and niacin, helps support healthy blood lipid levels and vascular function. The addition of olive leaf and garlic bulb extracts provide support for arterial health and proper blood flow. 

GlucoseMD®

If you are looking for targeted blood sugar support, your first daily dose of GlucoseMD® at breakfast with Berberine bark extract and CinSulin® cinnamon bark extract will help support healthy blood sugar levels and maintain proper sugar uptake from the blood into the muscles. The addition of chromium picolinate promotes the absorption of glucose, while GymnSylvestrestre is added to support healthy fasting blood sugar levels.

In lieu of smoothies, there are other great heart-healthy foods you can enjoy for breakfast. Oatmeal is a great source of soluble fiber, which has the ability to help lower LDL cholesterol, or you can opt for avocado toast, with beneficial monounsaturated fats that have been linked to reduced levels of cholesterol.

Selecting green tea as your morning drink has also been linked to a reduced risk of common heart problems, thought to be a result of the high antioxidant content.

During your day:

Have a snack at mid-morning and mid-afternoon so that you are not ravenous at meal time. Plan ahead for your snacks to avoid the temptation of convenience foods that are filled with unhealthy fats, added sugars, and processed ingredients. Some good snacking options that will support heart function include:

♦ Trail mix with nuts, seeds, and dried fruit
♦ Apple slices and almond butter
♦ Chia seed pudding
♦ Hummus and vegetable slices

For many, eating frequently is a good strategy for maintaining energy levels throughout the day. Studies show individuals who eat frequent small meals enjoy sustained energy levels, optimal metabolism, and overall health. 

For lunch, a plant-powered meal naturally low in saturated fats and refined sugars and high in fiber is a great choice for heart health. In the same way you plan for snacks, prep your lunches for the day ahead of time, so you do not make unhealthy choices. Some delicious and nutrient-rich meal ideas for heart and overall health can include:

♦ Roasted Cauliflower and Lentil Bowl
♦ Chickpea and Spinach Pitas
♦ Cauliflower Rice Bowl with Sweet Potatoes
♦ Black Bean Stuffed Sweet Potato with Hummus
♦ Quinoa and Veggie Bowl
♦ Mixed Greens With Lentil and Apple

Or, if you have leftovers from dinner, pack them up and bring them for lunch the next day.

In addition to eating right during the day, other healthy habits include:

Keep a large bottle of water on your desk and fill it each morning, keeping in mind that you should finish it by the end of the day. 
Take the stairs at work instead of an elevator, and park your car further away from the entrance, so you get in more steps each day.
Take a mid-day walk when you have time for a break.

5:30 – 7:30 pm:

There is no set time to have your evening meal, but what is important is that you ensure you eat this meal two hours before bed to promote uninterrupted sleep. 

If you are taking GlucoseMD®, you can take your second daily capsule with your evening meal. With regards to what you eat in the evening, a basic rule for a healthy meal would be:

♦ ½ of the plate with vegetables or a salad
♦ ¼ of the plate with a grain or starch
♦ ¼ of the plate with a plant-based protein like tofu, beans, lentils, seitan, or a veggie burger

8:30 – 9:30 pm:

Spend some time alone, even if it is just 15 minutes. Give yourself time to breathe deeply, meditate, read, relax in a hot bath, or write in a journal to wind down before bed. A healthy bedtime routine helps promote uninterrupted sleep, which supports heart health in a number of ways. 

Research has found that sleep deprivation contributes to plaque formation in the arteries. During the non-rapid eye movement sleep stages, the heart rate slows, blood pressure drops, and breathing stabilizes, which reduces stress on the heart, allowing it to recover. 

9:30 – 10:30 pm:

Wind down and go to sleep. Set the room up in a way that promotes relaxation and deep sleep. A darkened room is best for optimal recovery and will maximize the release of melatonin for a more restful sleep. Most sleep experts agree that seven to eight hours a night is optimal. However, some people may require more or less sleep than others. If you wake without an alarm and feel refreshed when you get up, you’re likely getting the right amount of sleep that you need. If not, you should adjust your routine to ensure you get the sleep your body needs.

Final Thoughts

Establishing a daily routine that incorporates a holistic approach to heart health is the best way to promote heart function, reduce the risk of chronic concerns, and support overall wellbeing and longevity. Plant-based nutrition, regular exercise, healthy lifestyle habits, and doctor-recommended supplements like CholestMD® and GlucoseMD® can help maintain heart function and proper circulatory and metabolic health so that you can live your best day, every day.

Dr. Heather Shenkman

Dr. Heather Shenkman is a board certified interventional cardiologist. She completed a six year program at Albany Medical College, graduating at the age of 23. She completed her residency at Henry Ford Hospital, cardiology fellowship at the University of Rochester, and interventional cardiology fellowship at the esteemed Tufts Medical Center in Boston.