Healthy Lifestyle

At Corrielus Cardiology, we are passionate about guiding our patients to a heart-healthy lifestyle. Physical activity, healthy eating, stress management, and regular follow-up checks all come into play when protecting your heart health.

During your cardiac screening, our team will provide you with personalized advice on how these habits can become your best gear against heart diseases. 

Physical Activity

Physical activity isn’t only the most effective method to manage your weight, it’s also the best strategy against heart disease. In his insightful book, Healing The Spartan, Dr. Corrielus shares that if he had to prioritize a single habit above all the rest, he would choose exercising to improve his patient’s heart health. 

According to the American Heart Association (AHA), it is recommended to engage in 2.5 hours of heart-pumping physical activity per week. If this is a new habit for you, you can start slowly and begin by gradually implementing physical activity into your daily routine. 

Types of Exercises

Depending on your age, health state, and experience with physical activity, your doctor will help you determine the appropriate exercise program for you. The kind of exercises your doctor will suggest may range from the following options:

  • Aerobic exercise or cardio: Running, jogging, and biking aim to increase your heart rate enough in order to train your body to move oxygen and blood more efficiently. 
  • Stretching: Gently doing this exercise will help your body become more flexible, and it can help prevent your muscles from tensing up.
  • Strength training. Weights, resistance bands, and using your own body weight can help build your muscles while increasing your strength.

When to Call Your Doctor

Feeling mildly sore after a couple of training days is normal and usually disappears on its own. However, there are some signs that can help you identify when your body is not responding properly to exercise. 

If you notice any of the following symptoms, it is important to stop immediately and seek prompt medical care:

  • Pain or pressure in your chest
  • Sudden cold sweat
  • Trouble breathing
  • Very fast and uneven heart rate
  • Feeling dizzy, lightheaded, or very tired 

Adopt Healthy Eating Habits

High levels of cholesterol in your blood can lead to plaque buildup in the arteries, increasing the risk of suffering from a stroke. 

Eating a balanced and healthy diet full of nutrients and fiber is one of the key steps to prevent heart disease effectively. During your cardiac screening, Dr. Corrielus will provide proper guidance and will personalize a dietary plan that aligns with your personal needs. 

Here’s an example of what a heart-healthy diet should look like:

Day 1

Breakfast

Egg Toast

  • 1 slice whole-wheat bread, toasted
  • 1 large egg, cooked in 1/4 teaspoon olive oil, or coat pan with a thin cooking spray. Season with a pinch each of salt and pepper.
  • 2 tablespoon  salsa
  • 1 medium banana

A.M. Snack

3/4 cup blueberries

Lunch 

Chickpea & Veggie Salad

  • 2 cups mixed greens
  • 3/4 cup veggies of your choice (try cucumbers and tomatoes)
  • 2/3 cup chickpeas, rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon  almonds, chopped
  • Combine ingredients and top salad with 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar, 2 teaspoons olive oil, and freshly ground pepper.

P.M. Snack

1 medium orange

Dinner

  • 1 serving Seared Salmon with Green Peppercorn Sauce
  • 1 cup steamed green beans
  • 1 baked medium red potato, drizzled with 1/2 tablespoon  olive oil and a pinch each of salt and pepper

Day 2

Breakfast

  • 1 cup bran cereal
  • 1 cup skim milk
  • 1/2 cup blueberries

A.M. Snack

1 medium apple

Lunch 

Veggie-Hummus Sandwich 

  • 2 slices whole-grain bread
  • 3 tablespoon  hummus
  • 1/4 avocado, mashed
  • 1/4 cup cucumber slices
  • 1/4 medium red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1/4 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 cup mixed greens

P.M. Snack 

Spread bread with hummus and avocado and layer on vegetables.

  • 3/4 medium red bell pepper, sliced
  • 2 tablespoon  hummus

Dinner

Leftovers from last night’s dinner

Day 3

Breakfast

  • 1 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon  slivered almonds
  • 2 teaspoon  honey
  • Top yogurt with blueberries, almonds, and honey

A.M. Snack

  • Two medium carrots
  • 2 tablespoon  hummus

Lunch

  • 1 1/2 cups Roasted Tofu & Peanut Noodle Salad

P.M. Snack

1 cup strawberries

Dinner

1 serving of Grilled Romaine with Avocado-Lime Dressing

  • 4 oz. cooked chicken breast, cooked in 1 1/2 teaspoon  olive oil and season with 1/4 teaspoon  cumin and a pinch each of salt and pepper
  • 3/4 cup cooked quinoa

Day 4

Breakfast 

  • 1 cup bran cereal
  • 1 cup skim milk
  • 1/2 cup blueberries

A.M. Snack

1 medium apple

Lunch

Green Salad with Chicken 

  • 3 cups mixed greens
  • 3 oz. leftover cooked chicken breast
  • 5 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup cucumber slices
  • 1/4 cup shredded carrot
  • Combine ingredients and top salad with 1 tablespoon  red wine vinegar and 2 teaspoons olive oil

P.M. Snack

1 medium orange

Dinner 

  • 1 serving Cod with Tomato Cream Sauce
  • 1/2 cup cooked brown rice
  • 2 cups mixed greens, topped with 1 tablespoon  balsamic vinegar and 2 teaspoons olive oil

Day 5

Breakfast

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats, cooked in 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup sliced strawberries
  • Cook oats and top with strawberries and a pinch of cinnamon

A.M. Snack

1/2 bell pepper, sliced

2 tablespoons hummus

Lunch

Toaster-Oven Tostadas

  • 2 corn tortillas
  • 2/3 cup canned black beans, rinsed
  • 1/2 bell pepper, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 2 tablespoons salsa or pico de gallo
  • Top tortillas with beans, bell pepper, and cheese. Toast until the cheese begins to melt. Top with salsa.

P.M. Snack

1/2 cup blueberries

Dinner

  • 1 1/4 cups Chicken Cauliflower Fried "Rice"
  • 2 cups mixed greens, topped with 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar and 2 teaspoon olive oil.

P.M. Snack 

3/4 cup Mango and kiwi with fresh lime zest

Day 6

Breakfast

  • 1 cup bran cereal
  • 1 cup skim milk
  • 1/2 cup blueberries

A.M. Snack

1 medium orange

Lunch

1 1/4 cups chicken cauliflower fried "rice"

1 kiwi fruit

P.M. Snack

1 cup strawberries

Dinner

Toaster-Oven Tostada (458 calories)

  • 2 corn tortillas
  • 1/2 cup canned black beans, rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 avocado
  • 2 tablespoons salsa or pico de gallo
  • Top tortillas with beans and cheese. Toast until the cheese begins to melt. Top with avocado and salsa.
  • 2 cups mixed greens, topped with 1 tablespoon lime juice and 2 teaspoons olive oil

Day 7

Breakfast

Egg & Tomato Toast 

  • 1 corn tortilla
  • 1 large egg, cooked in 1/4 teaspoon olive oil or coat the pan with a thin layer of cooking spray (1-second spray). Season with a pinch of pepper.
  • 5 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 medium banana

A.M. Snack 

  • 3/4 cup blueberries
  • 1 tablespoon  unsalted dry-roasted almonds

Lunch

Tuna & White Bean Spinach Salad

  • 2 cups spinach
  • 2.5 oz. chunk light tuna in water, drained
  • 1/2 cup canned white beans, rinsed
  • 3/4 cup veggies of your choice (try tomatoes & cucumbers)
  • Combine ingredients and top salad with 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar and 2 teaspoons olive oil.

P.M. Snack 

1 medium orange

Dinner 

1 serving Lemongrass Pork & Spaghetti Squash Noodle Bowl

If you like sugary drinks along with your food, try adding water to your fruit to make the transition to cutting sugary drinks easier. Remember that your body needs to stay properly hydrated, and drinking simple water is the best way to achieve that. 

Reducing Stress Triggers

Stress can severely impact your mental health while also causing physical symptoms like an upset stomach, increased anxiety, and sweaty hands.  If not handled properly, stress can indirectly impact your heart health by affecting your sleep, food choices, and exercise. 

Simple lifestyle adjustments can contribute to managing stress properly. These changes may include practicing stress-reducing techniques, avoiding triggers such as caffeine or alcohol consumption, and ensuring sufficient rest and sleep.

Managing Diabetes

People with diabetes are twice as likely to suffer from heart diseases or strokes since high blood sugar can cause damage to the blood vessels and heart nerves. To avoid complications, try to manage your insulin and cholesterol levels while keeping your blood sugar and pressure within the target range set by your doctor.

Regular Follow-up Visits

Regular follow-up visits are essential to identify and manage any heart issues promptly. Our team at Corrielus Cardiology will work with you to create a care plan tailored to your needs, including scheduled visits and necessary tests or screenings.

Cardiac Screenings in Philadelphia, PA

Your journey to robust heart health is a lifelong commitment, and we shall be your partner every step of the way. From your very first appointment to ongoing post-surgery or post-visit follow-ups, we ensure that your cardiovascular care is continuous and fully supportive.

To schedule a cardiac consultation with Dr. Corrielus, please call us or book an appointment online

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