One person dies every 34 seconds in the U.S. from heart issues, which shows how common it is.
Keeping your heart healthy is essential to extending your lifespan and improving your quality of life. But, with so much information online, it’s difficult knowing what you should and shouldn’t do. Maybe that’s why you’re here; you want to improve your heart health and need a nudge in the right direction.
Sounds like you? No worries, we’ve got you covered. Here are seven tips for a healthy heart.
1. Quit Smoking
A simple way to prevent heart problems is by ditching cigarettes. Smoking tobacco makes you more susceptible to heart attacks and is the leading cause of heart issues.
And even if you don’t smoke, avoid inhaling secondhand smoke because of the chemicals that leave residue in arteries. They can result in COPD or other issues further down the line.
If you’re struggling to quit, contact your physician and they should give you an array of options. For instance, this could be enrolling you in a special clinic or recommending nicotine replacement therapy.
2. Move Your Body
When caring for a heart, scheduling regular exercise is a must. Not only does it help you maintain a healthy weight, but it controls your blood pressure and cholesterol. A good rule of thumb is committing to 30 minutes of movement every day.
The beauty is you needn’t spend hours at the gym; simply go for a post-work stroll or join a yoga class for a gentle workout. Ideally, you should reduce the amount of time spent sitting down, especially at work, so take regular breaks to stretch and get the blood pumping.
3. Follow a Balanced Diet
The key to heart health is following a balanced diet. Aside from loading up on fruit and veggies, make sure you reduce your salt intake and choose your fats wisely. For instance, avoid trans and saturated fats as these raise your cholesterol levels and increase the risk of heart disease.
You should also introduce fish into your diet, as it’s packed with protein and omega-3 fatty acids. But it’s wise to avoid mercury-rich species like swordfish or bluefish tuna because it could cause issues later on.
Further, load up on food that contains potassium, as it lowers your blood pressure by reducing the impact on your arteries. This includes adding dried fruit, beans, and leafy greens to your diet.
And, if you haven’t already, you should eat plenty of magnesium as it benefits your heart in many ways. For instance, it maintains healthy blood pressure and reduces insulin resistance, which can manifest as cardiovascular disease. To reap its perks, make sure you eat nuts, avocados, and bananas.
Another way to reduce the risk of heart issues is by knowing your numbers. This means taking note of your blood pressure and sugar, cholesterol, and triglycerides so that you’re in optimal health. If you’re unsure how to do this, consult with your physician and regularly check in to stay on the right track.
4. Maintain Good Oral Hygiene
An underrated way of preventing heart attacks is by maintaining good oral hygiene. Aside from improving your smile, the bacteria that causes gum disease can also increase your risk of heart disease. Because of this, you should brush twice a day and floss to remove food debris and tackle the hard-to-reach areas.
Also, don’t forget to get your teeth professionally cleaned twice a year for peace of mind.
5. Spend Time With Loved Ones
Although it doesn’t seem it on the surface, you can boost heart health by spending time with your friends and family. Connecting with your community does wonders for your mental health, as it builds your sense of belonging and even wards off anxiety or depression.
Also, loneliness is linked to hardening your arteries, which makes you susceptible to heart issues and circulatory problems.
6. Minimize Stress
High levels of stress and heart disease go hand-in-hand. If you’re consistently stressed, your blood pressure will rise and increase your heart rate, which is a problem if you’re stuck in a stress cycle. Because of this, you should go the extra mile to improve your mental well-being and unwind after a long day at work.
To mitigate stress, carve out time for activities that you enjoy, such as painting or going fishing. You could also spend time in nature, meditate, or even spend a weekend screen-free.
7. Prioritize a Good Night’s Sleep
A surefire way to protect your heart is to get enough sleep. Catching z’s gives your body time to rest and heal, which is the key to optimal health. A good rule of thumb is having at least eight hours of sleep every night and sticking to a regular schedule.
Honoring your body’s circadian rhythm is essential to waking up and going to sleep at the same time, even on weekends. Otherwise; you’ll end up sleep deprived and potentially compromise your health.
If you’re still looking for other ways to boost heart health, contact a reputable healthcare professional like Dr. Kenneth Chien to learn more.
Our Favorite Tips for a Healthy Heart
Hopefully, you’ll now take these tips for a healthy heart on board.
There are many ways you can improve your heart’s health, such as eating a balanced diet and quitting smoking cigarettes if you haven’t already. You should also prioritize a good night’s sleep and introduce exercise to your daily routine. Good luck!
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