5 Simply incredible ways to improve your heart health
Heart disease is one of the leading health issues in the world. It is vital to pay attention to your heart health, even if heart problems don’t run in your genes. A healthy heart is central to your overall health so we’ve identified some simple and helpful ways to improve your heart health.
Your heart is a vital organ that beats approximately 2.5 billion times in an average lifetime. Your heart works 24/7 with no days off (thank goodness) so it’s important to make sure you’re doing everything in your power to assist your heart in performing at its best.
By making a few healthy choices, you can prevent heart disease and lower your risk of a heart attack or a stroke. These 5 tips are simple ways that you can improve your heart health.
5 simple ways to improve your heart health
1. Move your body
Regular physical activity can improve your heart’s health. It strengthens the muscles in your heart, helps restrict weight gain and it is a great way to reduce stress.
The worst thing you can do though is to start doing something you really don’t enjoy. If the gym isn’t for you, then go for long walks. It doesn’t matter what type of physical activity you do, as long as the activity raises your heart rate to above its resting rate.
If you’ve never done any physical activity before, start slowly and keep to a pace that feels like a bit of a challenge but not like you cannot cope.
2. Stop smoking
Ah, smoking…A guilty pleasure that we know is difficult to quit doing.
But smoking has a variety of disadvantages and can really impact your overall health. Smoking damages the interior surface of your blood vessels which leads to atherosclerosis (thickening of your arteries caused by a buildup of plaque).
This will then lead to a massive strain on your heart. A really great thing is that no matter how long you’ve been smoking, it’s really never too late to quit. The American Cancer Society has said that just after 20 minutes of quitting, your blood pressure will begin to return to normal, approximately 3 months after you quit, your lung function will increase and after 1 year, your risk of heart disease will decrease by half (our body’s resilience is amazing!).
Do you need some help? Read this then: 5 science-backed ways to officially kick your smoking habit
3. Eat healthier foods
Eating healthy is one of the best ways to prevent heart disease and something you have complete control over. Your diet needs to be balanced and includes foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains and protein. By having a well-balanced diet, you have the best chances of increasing the production of oxygen-rich blood.
Another important thing to consider is HOW you’re cooking your food. You could have the healthiest ingredients but if you’re always frying them or cooking them with lots of oil, you’re not going to get the nutrition you need. Rather bake, grill, steam, boil or poach your food or fry it in healthier options over butter or high-fat oils.
4. Manage your stress levels
You may not realise it but your stress negatively impacts your body just as much as it affects you mentally. Most notably, your stress levels can cause a rise in blood pressure and an elevated heart rate. High blood pressure increases your risk of a heart attack due to the buildup of plaque around your arteries.
Just because you experience high-stress levels every now and then doesn’t mean that you’re going to automatically have a heart attack. Prolonged high-stress levels will have a negative impact on your overall heart health though.
To help manage your stress, try meditation or find physical activities that help you feel good.
5. Keep a healthy weight
Please know that we aren’t bashing people with larger bodies, we are solely focused on your health.
Obesity forces your heart to work a little harder to pump the blood through your body which is quite a strain on your heart. Not only that but high levels of body fat also increase the plaque buildup around your arteries which greatly increases your risk for heart disease.
If this is something you’re struggling with, it is a good idea to change up your diet and increase your physical activity. Start slow and ask your doctor for advice to ensure you do this safely.
You are never too old or too young to start thinking about your health and the health of your heart. Admittedly, the younger you start making healthier choices, the longer you’ll feel great and the easier it would be. But anyone can simply cut a few bad habits and make better choices that will benefit your overall health.
Your health is our number one priority and it should be yours too!
Yours in health-first health insurance,