Helpful Tips To Keep Your Heart Healthy

Helpful Tips To Keep Your Heart Healthy

Heart disease remains the leading cause of death for people in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Some factors, including genetics, can make you more prone to heart disease. No matter your situation, there are steps you can take to reduce your risk of heart-related issues. You can control most risk factors, or at least modify them, according to the American Heart Association (AHA).

Cardiologists explain that lifestyle choices have a huge impact on your overall heart health. In fact, lifestyle choices play a larger role than genetics do. The AHA estimates that 80% of cardiovascular disease, which includes stroke and heart disease, can be prevented. Other heart experts and researchers agree that most heart disease cases are preventable. If you take care of your heart in your 20s, 30s, and 40s, you may not have to see a cardiologist for most of your life. What can you do to keep your heart healthy? Continue reading to learn about some helpful tips. 

Look At Your Diet

What you put in your body can dictate your overall health, especially your heart health. There are various diets that place emphasis on consuming healthy fats, fiber, protein, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals from fresh ingredients. The AHA often recommends the DASH diet to help control heart health, but you may prefer the Mediterranean diet instead. Your main goal, no matter which diet you choose or don’t choose, is to consume lots of fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes. Olive oil, avocados, seeds, and nuts are great sources of healthy fats! Limit your sugar intake and cut back on red meat, opting for wild caught fish when you can. Lastly, try to avoid processed foods because they don’t do anything for your heart. 

Minimize Stress

Everyone experiences stress, which can be tough on the heart. Stress can also lead to overeating and inactivity, two things that can increase blood pressure and cholesterol. It is tough to avoid stress, but there are things you can do to manage it. Consider taking five to 10 minutes out of every day to meditate, do yoga, stretch, or breathe deeply and you may notice a huge difference. A relaxing bath a couple times a week may also help you unload your stress. 

Aim For A Good Night’s Sleep

While certain people can function great with varying amounts of sleep, the last thing you want to do is neglect sleep. Sleep experts recommend that adults get between seven to nine hours of sleep per night. Dipping below six hours on a regular basis may hurt your heart, according to a few studies. In fact, poor sleep habits have been linked to high blood pressure and a harder time losing weight. Sleep is the body’s way of recharging the heart because heart rate goes down during sleep. You are not under a lot of stress while sleeping, so get some sleep to improve your heart and overall health.

Keep Your Blood Pressure In Check

Annual physicals are intended to inform you of your health. Your healthcare provider can check for heart disease symptoms and help you stay on top of your blood pressure. Knowing your blood pressure is crucial because there are no specific indicators of high blood pressure. If your blood pressure is out of control, your risk of heart disease is much higher. Should you find out that your blood pressure is high, there are steps you can take to naturally lower your blood pressure before you resort to medication. 

Exercise Most Days Of The Week

The AHA encourages everyone to get at least 150 minutes of moderate to intense exercise weekly. If that number is not feasible, try to work out harder for shorter amounts of time, for example, high-intensity interval workouts. The AHA also states that 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity per week, or a combination of vigorous and moderate workouts is also acceptable. Physical activity is the fountain of youth, people! Try your best to squeeze in a workout, even if that means some push-ups at home, a neighborhood walk or jog, 20 minutes on the exercise bike, or yoga class here and there. Elevate your heart rate!

Assess Your Weight

Being overweight or obese can increase your risk of heart disease. A 2021 report found that obesity directly contributes to heart disease risk factors, including type 2 diabetes, sleep disorders, hypertension, and dyslipidemia. Obesity can also lead to the development of heart disease and death from heart disease. Although body mass index (BMI) often indicates obesity, it is not always the best measure. BMI is simply an inexpensive and quick way to analyze a person’s potential health status and outcomes. If you are overweight or obese with heart problems, consider losing weight to promote better overall health. Exercise daily and make dietary changes (detailed earlier in this article). Consider a nutritional consultation to find the best plan for you.

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