When it comes to improving the health of your heart, the two primary recommendations are: eat healthier and exercise more often. We aren’t negating those recommendations because they absolutely have their place. In fact, healthy diet and regular exercise are general guidelines for a healthier body. There are more things you can do, however, to encourage a healthier heart beyond eating your daily greens and elevating your heart rate.
Cardiovascular Disease In The World
Cardiovascular diseases are the primary cause of death worldwide. According to global statistics, cardiovascular diseases take about 17.9 million lives per year. People who are at risk of developing serious cardiovascular diseases typically have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, arterial problems, or issues with blood vessels. Fortunately, there are many ways to take control of your health before things get worse.
We will never stop encouraging people to eat healthier and exercise more often; it’s just not going to happen, folks, Those two things lay the foundation for a healthier life, but you can use the other recommendations in this article to encourage a healthier heart.
Adopt A Dog
Dogs just make you feel warm and fuzzy inside. The crazy thing is that you can look at a dog and feel instant love for it. Furry friends bring people happiness and statistics show that people with pets are less likely to smoke or develop diabetes. A meta-analysis in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes found that dog owners lived longer and coped better after heart attack or stroke when compared to people without dogs. Finally, people who have dogs walk more often, getting you outside to absorb natural vitamin D and log more steps in each day, contributing to better circulation.
Laugh Out Loud…A Lot
There’s something to be said about inviting more joy into your life. According to Dr. John P. Higgins, MD and sports cardiologist, laughing helps to improve vascular function. One study even found that regular laughter reduced inflammation and boosted the production of HDL cholesterol (the good kind). Laughter allows you to be present in the moment and it helps you forget about stressful situations. Stress contributes to elevated blood pressure and cholesterol levels, so it’s best to laugh and enjoy stress-free moments as much as you can.
Make Sleep A Priority
Lack of sleep leads to brain fog, fatigue, high stress, obesity, and an overall sluggish body. Sleep is the body’s way of recuperating, and studies show that people who don’t sleep enough have elevated cholesterol and blood pressure levels. Every adult should aim to sleep for seven to eight hours per night. The older you get, the more you should sleep. Evidence shows that that elderly people with irregular circadian rhythms are twice as likely to develop cardiovascular diseases than people with regular sleep schedules.
It’s All About Oral Hygiene
This is an interesting tip, but caring for you teeth, tongue, and gums can help decrease your risk of heart disease. The reason you need to brush and floss regularly, aside from keeping those pearly whites fresh and clean, is because bacteria in the mouth can infect the bloodstream. If this happens, you can experience inflammatory damage in the blood vessels, which ultimately affects heart function.
Manage Your Stress
If you ever pay attention to your body in stressful moments, you’ll notice that your heart rate increases and your chest can tighten. Stress can lead to irregular sleep patterns, stomach troubles, unhealthy snacking, and frequent headaches. Many studies link high stress levels to increased blood pressure, and higher blood pressure puts you at risk of damaging the inner lining of the arteries. This is why you need to make time for relaxation every single day. It will honestly change your life. Take 30 minutes to do something that helps you relieve stress. Whether you read a book, watch your favorite show, meditate, take a bath, listen to music, exercise, or do a face mask, manage your stress for a healthier heart.