Heart disease is one of the most common causes of death worldwide and is particularly prevalent as a risk in developed countries. Fortunately, science has helped us identify ways to avoid heart disease. Check out our ten tips for improving heart health.
Exercising regularly is an integral part of maintaining your heart health and preventing other diseases. Here are the three types of exercises to include in your routine.
This is anything that gets your heart rate up, including brisk walking, running, swimming, dancing, and cycling. While it is recommended that you do 30 minutes of cardio per day for at least five days per week, as little as 15 minutes of exercise per day can lower your chances of heart disease.
Strength training is important for keeping your muscles and your waistline in good shape. Training with weights and machines, or even doing simple exercises like pushups and sit-ups on two non-consecutive days per week, is considered beneficial.
Stretching and Balance
Stretching and balancing exercises are great for keeping your muscles limber and avoiding injury. Ideally, you’ll want to stretch before and after other types of exercise. Plus, doing balance work can help you avoid accidental falls, especially as you get older.
Smoking is all-around bad for you, from damaging your eyes to constricting your blood vessels and, eventually, leading to an increased risk of heart disease. If you’re a smoker, you should strongly consider quitting. Fortunately, you’re not alone, and there are many things out there to help you stop. If you’re worried that you’ll have trouble quitting, speak to your doctor about the smoking cessation methods in your area.
Lose the Extra Weight
If you’re carrying extra weight, you’re at higher risk for heart disease than those considered within the normal range. Carrying excess weight can also increase your risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. If this describes you, consider speaking to your doctor about weight loss methods. What you don’t want to do is adopt unrealistic crash diets that can reduce your muscle mass and eventually lead you to rebound and overindulge.
Limit the Less Healthy Foods
We all love foods that are not necessarily good for us, whether it be chips, candy, or foods that are high in bad cholesterol. Cutting the foods out completely may not be realistic. After all, who wants to hear that they’ll never be able to eat their favorite foods again? Instead, try limiting those foods to once in a while, such as once a week or once a month.
Enjoy Wine and Chocolate in Moderation
Wine and dark chocolate have been proven to be good for heart health when consumed in moderation. A glass of red wine at dinner and occasional chocolate as a snack or dessert is a great and delicious way to keep your heart healthy while also reducing your risk of high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Just remember not to overindulge.
Take Steps to Reduce Stress
Stress triggers our fight or flight mechanism, originally developed to help humans get away from predators and other harmful situations. When stressed, the human body releases hundreds of chemicals designed to help you survive but are detrimental for you if you’re stressed out long term. Of course, now, we face plenty of stressful situations, though not maybe immediately dangerous situations, during our daily lives.
Finding an activity that’s calming, whether it’s yoga, meditation, or kickboxing, can help you ensure that you’re managing your stress. Likewise, implementing a small relaxing routine before bedtime can help you eliminate stress and promote better sleep.
Try These Fruits and Vegetables
Avocados, berries, tomatoes, and leafy green vegetables are full of nutrients and can help reduce your chances of getting heart disease. Berries are rich in antioxidants and protect you from bad cholesterol. Likewise, avocados are high in healthy fats.
Tomatoes are rich in lycopene, which carries several benefits, including reducing the risk of stroke, and leafy green vegetables such as spinach are a great source of vitamin K. According to some studies, they have shown to reduce your risk of developing heart disease.
Enjoy Some Healthy Protein
Fish, nuts, seeds, and legumes are all great sources of heart-healthy protein. Studies have shown that enjoying fish, and even fish oil supplements, as part of your regular diet has been shown to decrease the risk of heart disease and other problems such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity.
Beans and other legumes are great for reducing your risk for heart disease and help combat bad cholesterol. Nuts such as almonds and walnuts are also a great source of protein and good cholesterol, making them great for snacking and meals alike.
Certain supplements, such as the Revive Blood Pressure supplement, are designed to help you control high blood pressure and reduce your risk of heart disease. However, keep in mind that you’ll want to do your research and ensure that the supplement you choose is scientifically backed. Remember, not all supplements are made alike, and not all of them are of the best quality, which is why you should do your research, and when in doubt, consult with your doctor.
Talk to Your Doctor
Regular checkups at your doctor’s office are a great way to ensure that you are healthy and catch conditions that put you at increased risk for heart disease early. Plus, your doctor can give you great advice on diet and exercise.
If you already know that you have a condition or are at an increased risk for a condition, such as diabetes or high blood pressure, make sure that you see your doctor every year, or as recommended by that doctor, for wellness visits.