Heart disease remains the most common cause of preventable death. While heart disease often presents with a sudden bang, as in an acute heart attack, in reality, the process that leads to heart disease is often smoldering for years, even decades, easily evading detection. If you want your heart to treat you well, then I’d suggest you give it some love. Recent research demonstrates 5 simple steps to show your heart some love that will help you live longer and healthier. These include:


  1. Eat healthier: emphasize whole plant-based foods over processed foods and animal products;
  2. Don’t smoke;
  3. Move more: get moderate to vigorous physical activity daily (≥ 30 minutes/day);
  4. Don’t drink too much alcohol (5-15 g/day - no more than 1 standard drink for women, 5-30 g/day - no more than 2 for men); and
  5. Stay lean keeping your body mass index (18.5-24.9 kg/m2).


Does this information surprise you? Probably not, since most of us know that we need to eat better, exercise more, not smoke and so on, the challenge seems to be adhering to this decades old advice. 


So, how can one break this cycle? Find an integrative and holistic team of health care providers that can help you overcome the obstacles that get in the way of supporting these five heart healthy behaviors. Our clinics are designed to help you recognize and overcome the barriers that get in the way of adapting these health promoting behaviors so that you can love your heart and allow it to love you in return with a healthier and happier life.


dave johnsonBy Dave Johnson, MD

As a cardiologist, Dave has expertise in the diagnosis and management of cardiovascular disease and its risk factors. As an integrative medicine physician, he recognizes the innate healing capacity of the individual and that simply treating the ailments of the physical body are insufficient. He believes that integrative strategies that nurture the body, mind, soul and spirit optimize the body's innate healing capacity. Strategies that address nutrition, physical activity, emotional/spiritual wellbeing, stress, and environmental exposure are considered as they heavily influence health, wellness and disease.

You can work with Dr. Johnson at the following facilities: Grand Rapids Natural Health, Grand Rapids, Sleeping Bear Natural Health, Traverse City, and Table Health, Traverse City.

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