Written By Ross Geller / Reviewed By Ray Spotts
When you consider the number of deaths linked to heart issues, it makes sense to consider ways to keep your heart healthy. A lot of people die every year from heart diseases. This, however, does not mean you cannot avoid it. Besides, a healthy heart is well within your capacity.
Even though you might not be able to change some things that make you susceptible to heart health, like sex and age, there are many parts of the equation you can alter. It all comes down to making healthy lifestyle changes that will not only help your heart but benefit your overall health.
We will discuss five impressive lifestyle changes everyone can make to protect their heart.
Daily Physical Activity to protect your heart
In other words, live an active lifestyle. It will go a long way to reduce your risk of developing heart disease by helping to control your weight.
This is helpful as obesity also increases the risk of heart diseases. Exercise also reduces the risk of developing other conditions that might contribute to heart issues like type 2 diabetes and high cholesterol.
A sedentary lifestyle significantly increases your risk of developing heart issues. According to a Harvard study, your risk of developing heart disease increases by 15 percent with two hours of watching TV daily.
Make it a habit to live an active lifestyle. When you get moving, it increases blood circulation, which benefits the heart and other body parts.
Being active does not necessarily mean getting a gym subscription. Sample exercises are:
- Walking or brisk walking
- Walking the dog
- Going up and down the stairs
As evident, the goal is not to overwork yourself. Start small and work your way up. Increase the frequency and intensity. You will see tremendous benefit with time.
Consider Regular Health Checkups to protect your heart
One of the factors that contributes to heart disease is high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Sadly, it is impossible to know this without testing.
With screening, you can determine your risk and the right course of action to take. There are trusted centers like Modern heart and Vascular Institute to access your heart health and diagnose cardiac conditions.
A few things you can deduce via testing are:
Blood Pressure Test: Make sure to check your blood pressure at least once a month. Since high blood pressure is a risk factor for stroke and heart issues, it is beneficial to have a regular checkup starting from age 18.
Cholesterol Level Test: Adults need to measure their cholesterol level once every five years. People with a high risk of heart disease need to start at age 18 and frequently test.
Type 2 diabetes Test: Diabetes also increases your risk of heart issues. If diabetes runs in the family, or you have a risk factor for diabetes like excess weight, make sure to screen early.
For people with conditions like type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, or excessive cholesterol, make sure to talk to your doctor. They can recommend the necessary medications or other lifestyle changes that can help reduce your risk of developing heart issues.
Strive for a Healthy Weight to protect your heart
Excess weight also increases your chance of developing heart issues. A healthy weight is essential for protecting your heart from damage and stress. With optimum weight, your heart will be able to pump blood effectively to crucial body parts without strain.
On the other hand, with excess weight, the heart has to do more work to pump blood to all the body parts. This explains why excess weight around the waist increases high blood pressure, excessive cholesterol, and diabetes.
Using the body mass index (BMI), you can determine if your health is within a healthy range. BMI uses the height and weight to determine whether your weight is healthy. Generally, a BMI of 25 or higher is considered overweight, which could increase your risk of health issues.
Healthful ways to reduce your weight are
- Intermittent fasting
- Exercise (strength training)
- Reduce your meals, eat slowly
- Stay away from junk foods, sugary drinks, refined carbs, and fruit juice
- Eat whole meals
- Follow a high protein diet
Striving to lose weight comes with tremendous health benefits. Besides, even a very small weight loss, as little as 4 percent, will benefit you in unique ways. It will lower triglycerides (fats) in blood, reduce blood glucose, and significantly reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Manage Stress to protect your heart
Stress is inevitable in our present world. With many bills to pay, deadlines to meet, obligations to fulfill, etc., it is not surprising that stress is the order of the day for many people. Yet, stress is a precursor to many health issues including heart disease.
Stress increases the risk of cardiovascular disease by straining the heart. Sadly, some people resort to an unhealthy coping mechanism for stress. Some wrong ways people manage stress are:
- Excessive drinking
Some of these poor stress coping mechanisms come with an unpleasant side effect, and your heart might suffer for it. This calls for healthy ways to manage stress.
A good example is via exercise. Exercise releases endorphins, which make people feel better physically and mentally. Other helpful ways to manage stress are:
- Going for a walk
- Healthy attitude
Be Smart with Your Meals to protect your heart
What you eat also has a huge role to play in protecting your heart. With a healthy heart, you can keep your blood pressure down, reduce cholesterol, and improve your overall health. Make sure to concentrate on healthy items like:
- Fruits and vegetables
- Healthy fats like olive oil
- Legumes and beans
- Fatty fish like salmon, tuna, sardines, or lake trout
- Fiber-rich whole grains
- Seeds and nuts
- Low-fat sources of protein
- Fish and lean meats
- Whole grains
Also, limit the intake of the following foods:
- Processed carbs
- Saturated fats (red meat, coconut oil)
It is in your best interest to avoid foods high in trans-fat like fried foods, baked foods, crackers, margarine, prepackaged snacks.
We have discussed top changes that anyone can make and see tremendous improvement in their heart health. The silver lining here is that these changes will go a long way in rewarding you with optimum overall health. In other words, not only will your heart benefit but your overall health.
This, without a doubt, will go a long way to avoid unnecessary heart issues that could result in an untimely death.
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Ross Geller has been closely studying the health industry trends for quite some time. Intrigued by the booming growth of this sector, he takes interest in penning his views providing quality insight on current health trends and pushing people towards a healthy lifestyle through his writings.
Founder Ray Spotts has a passion for all things natural and has made a life study of nature as it relates to health and well-being. Ray became a forerunner bringing products to market that are extraordinarily effective and free from potentially harmful chemicals and additives. For this reason Ray formed Trusted Health Products, a company you can trust for clean, effective, and healthy products. Ray is an organic gardener, likes fishing, hiking, and teaching and mentoring people to start new businesses. You can get his book for free, “How To Succeed In Business Based On God’s Word,” at www.rayspotts.com.
Photo by Hush Naidoo on Unsplash