Photograph of a medical provider in an exam room. The headline is Heart Health Strategies with Dr. Brown, Chief Medical Officer at CEC Health Care

Heart Health Strategies with Dr. Brown

Heart Health Strategies with Dr. Brown, CEC Health Care’s Chief Medical Officer

Christine Brown, M.D.  February 1 , 2024

With Heart Disease being the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States, each February we observe American Heart Month to promote heart healthy lifestyles in our communities.

Before we talk about the different ways to promote heart health though, let’s first take a look at the modifiable and non-modifiable factors that contribute to whether we develop heart disease:

Heart Disease Risk Factors

Modifiable Risk Factors

Non-Modifiable Risk Factors

Tobacco Use Age
Hypertension Uncontrolled Family History of Heart Disease
Diabetes Uncontrolled
Poor Diet and Sedentary Lifestyle


How To Promote Heart Health

Now that we have laid out the major risk factors, let’s move on to ways to promote Heart Health.  The heart is intrinsically connected to our mind and body.  Thus, a healthy heart is dependent on a healthy body and mind.  Here are a few strategies to consider as you embark on your journey to a healthy heart.

Therapeutic Approaches

Calm the Mind – negative thinking, stress and an unstable emotional state can have deleterious effects on the heart.  Positively influence your state of consciousness through:

Meditation – improve mindfulness through an enhanced focus on the NOW and less focus on things that have already happened or things that may happen in the future.  Meditation can take the form of prayer, simply breathing deeply with eyes closed or staring at an object in silence to improve focus.

Breathing – focused breathing can clear accumulated tension, relieve stress and improve one’s mental fortitude to navigate day to day stressors.  Try taking a deep breath in, holding it for a few seconds and then releasing it.

Stress Management – increase awareness of emotions and feelings that influences behavior

Dietary Strategies

How we eat is just as important as what we eat:

The ‘do’s’ and ‘don’ts’ of eating:

    1. Minimize intake of stimulant foods
    2. Minimize refined sugars
    3. Minimize intake of processed foods
    4. Eat whole foods (not processed, refined, or had ingredients added to them)
    5. Eat mindfully i.e., eat only when you are hungry, don’t overeat
    6. Eat in a calm environment – this promotes the production of the proper amount of digestive juices. Eating while standing or ‘on the run’ impedes digestion
    7. Include adequate amounts of fiber in the diet in the form of fresh vegetables, whole grains and fruits.
    8. Eat ‘good fats’ like olive oil, ghee, avocado – they serve to protect the heart
    9. Incorporate garlic, ginger, and turmeric into the diet – they destroy toxins, improve circulation and vasodilation, and purifies the blood. They can be incorporated into meals or taken as tea.

Exercise Strategies

Exercise improves circulation throughout the body, eliminates stagnant mental and emotional energy, improves digestion and elimination and bolsters detoxification.  Choose the form of exercise that’s right for you.  A little exercise is always better than no exercise at all.

▪ Yoga – removes tension, stimulates circulation, improves fluidity throughout the body tissues

▪ Walking

▪ Hiking

▪ Running

▪ Cycling

We live in a fast-paced society.  Our workloads are oftentimes heavy.  To find balance, it’s vital that we take the time to nourish our mind, body and heart.  Make small changes and stick with it.  With these tools you will be on the road to your best self.

We Are Here For You At CEC Health Care!

– Or Give Us A Call At (516) 622-8888 Today!