20 Ways to Keep Your Heart Healthy
Some of the best ways to keep your heart healthy include quitting smoking, getting regular check-ups from your doctor, reducing stress, eating more fiber, exercising regularly, moderating your drinking, adding fish to your diet, eliminating cholesterol, increasing your antioxidant intake, and many more.
Cardiovascular health is one of the most talked about topics in the medical, nutrition, and lifestyle industries today. Considering that cardiovascular-related diseases are the biggest killer in the world every year, it is a serious problem that thousands of specialists around the world are trying to address. However, as it turns out, some of the best ways to protect yourself from cardiovascular diseases, such as heart attacks, strokes, coronary heart disease, embolisms, and other serious health risks have nothing to do with going to a doctor’s office. You are in control of your heart health, because the most important elements in maintaining a healthy heart are the choices your personally make every day.
The things you eat and the things you do are in your control, and by altering your lifestyle and nutritional habits in certain ways, you can significantly boost the strength and longevity of your heart. Ideally, a combination of the heart health techniques explained below will make its way into your life to increase your health. If you can manage to implement all 20 in your daily or weekly life, then your ticker will be thrilled and your quality of life will surge dramatically. Let’s take a closer look at some of the very best ways to keep your heart healthy.
20 Ways to Keep Your Heart Healthy
1) Increase Antioxidant Intake – Antioxidants are some of the most important elements of human health, as they protect your body from the damaging effects of free radicals, which can cause chronic diseases, as well as cancer and cardiovascular disease. Studies have shown as much as a 20% reduction in heart disease when antioxidants are a major part of a person’s diet. Increase your intake of berries, nuts, beans, artichokes, cocoa, citrus fruits, and green leafy vegetables, all of which are high in antioxidants. Also intake of lean beef may also help in lowering blood pressure and reduce risk of cardiovascular diseases.
2) Quit Smoking – Cigarettes contain a dangerous combination of chemicals, many of which have been proven to negatively affect your heart health. Also, smoking causes a constriction of blood vessels, which leads to higher blood pressure and an increased chance of heart attacks and strokes.
3) Regularly See Your Doctor – No one likes going to see the doctor, as it usually means you are either sick or concerned about your health. However, regular check-ups with a doctor can enable you to discover your “danger” areas of health and doctors offer beneficial and targeted advice on how to eliminate or lower your risk factors that can contribute to heart disease based on your lifestyle, genetics, and other contributing factors.
4) Maintain Consistent Activity – Although exercise is very important for heart health, so is remaining consistently active. Sedentary lifestyles contribute to higher blood pressure, poor eating habits, lower metabolic rates, and a generally lower level of heart health. Take up a hobby like gardening, go for a bike ride, or volunteer at a community center to remain active in your free time without going to the gym.
5) Reduce Stress – Stress can really be a killer! It can increase your blood pressure and cholesterol levels, while simultaneously causing you to handle your stress in dangerous ways, such as an increase in smoking, drinking, or eating unhealthy foods to cope with stressful situations. Learning about and implementing healthy ways to cope with stress can seriously boost your heart health.
6) Laugh Hard and Often – Laughter is the best medicine for a number of reasons, but when it comes to heart health, laughter actually boosts your blood flow and prevents hardening of the arteries, which is a main factor that contributes to cardiovascular disease.
7) Exercise Regularly – Perhaps the most important way to avoid heart trouble is to exercise regularly. It increases blood flow, boosts metabolism, lowers cholesterol levels, helps you lose weight, and maintains an active lifestyle that will keep your heart in great shape.
8) Follow the Right Career Path – Although this seems like an unrelated topic, choosing the right career and maintaining consistent happiness can do wonders for your heart health. It can stress, make your more active and energetic, and increase the release of beneficial hormones in your body that optimize your metabolism and keep your heart healthy.
9) Practice Yoga – Yoga is a wonderful way to relax and reduce stress, but it also increases the flexibility of your body, including the blood vessels and arteries, which can help to prevent plaque build-up and atherosclerosis, which both contribute to strokes and heart attacks.
10) Socialize Often – Maintaining an active social life will not only get you out of the house and moving around, but social interactions have been shown to lower blood pressure and increase the release of beneficial endorphins that keep your organs and immune system working properly.
11) Eliminate Cholesterol – Bad cholesterol (LDL cholesterol) can clog your arteries, cause plaque build-up, increase blood pressure, and generally ruin the health of your heart. By elimination “bad” cholesterol from your diet, and replacing it with beneficial cholesterol (HDL cholesterol), you can re-balance the fatty acids in your body to prevent cardiovascular diseases.
12) Get Enough Sleep – Sleep is essential to heart health because it gives your body a chance to rest and detoxify itself. Furthermore, a lack of sleep has been connected to calcium build-up in the arteries, which can cause heart attacks. Additional stress, irritability, and poor lifestyle choices are also a result of improper sleeping habits.
13) Add Fiber to Your Diet – Fiber is one of the most important dietary elements for protecting your heart. Fiber scrapes out and eliminates excess “bad” cholesterol, moderates your digestive system, improves the absorption of nutrients, and can even lower your chances of diabetes, which is a major co-contributor to heart disease.
14) Soak Up Some Sunshine – Getting some rays is not only relaxing, it also gives your body a much-needed dose of vitamin D, which is not only good for your bone strength, but has also been shown as a serious preventative vitamin for heart-related diseases, according to recent studies.
15) Reduce Alcohol Consumption – This is a tricky one, as most people suggest that a glass of wine or two a day is beneficial due to the antioxidants present. However, excessive drinking of less healthy alcoholic beverages can increase your blood pressure, result in obesity, and shift your cholesterol balance in a negative direction.
16) Work on Patience – Patience is a virtue that also happens to reduce stress. We are so commonly upset, anxious, or frustrated by having to wait in traffic jams or long lines that we are doing our body significant harm, while we could change our mindset and actually benefit our bodies instead. Shift your perspective and improve your chances of a healthy heart!
17) Lose Weight – Obesity is a major contributing factor to heart disease, as it increases your bad cholesterol, increases your blood pressure, elevates your chances of developing atherosclerosis, diabetes, and sleep apnea. Losing weight can eliminate these risk factors that can damage your heart.
18) Get a Pet – Studies have shown that connecting with a pet can increase your overall quality of life, lower stress, cause you to be more active, and generally reduce your chances of developing heart conditions. Get a new dog or cat and see what a boost to your mentality and health they can be!
19) Lower Your Dependency on Technology – In our modernized world, we are constantly dependent on smartphones, iPads, computers, television, and other technological advancements. many of these force us to not only be sedentary, which contributes to heart disease, but they also increase your level of stress hormones in the body and raise blood pressure. Take a break from technology once in a while and go out to enjoy the real world.
20) Remain Sexually Active – This may be a touch subject for some people, but in fact, remaining sexually active with your partner releases very beneficial endorphins and hormones in your body, counts as exercise, and has been shown in numerous studies to reduce stress, lower blood pressure, and contribute to a healthier heart.