The 12 Best Ways to Keep Your Heart Healthy!
In Other Words, Here’s How to Show Your Heart Some Love…
We all know that our hearts are what keep us alive, pumping blood and keeping us connected to the world around us. And as we get older, heart health matters even more.
Living a long, healthy and happy life has a lot to do with keeping our cardiovascular system strong and working efficiently. Taking care of our health can comfortably propel us well into old age.
Everyone is at risk for heart disease but there are steps you can take to reduce that risk and improve your overall health and wellness.
The Big Four!
Eat a hearty healthy diet
Heart healthy foods are ones that are low in trans fats, low in added sugars, and low in sodium levels. High fiber foods and foods full of healthy fats like fish and avocados are great for your body.
Limit your alcohol consumption
Red wine has proven health benefits but most alcohol is actually quite damaging to our liver, kidneys, brain and heart. If you want to enjoy an alcoholic beverage, try to limit it to one drink a day for women, two a day for men. Most things are not unhealthy if consumed in moderation.
Maintain a healthy weight/regular exercise
For a lot of us, especially now with COVID-19, we are spending a lot more time at home with a bag of chips rather than outside enjoying nature or going to the gym. Don’t forget to hit your recommended 10,000 steps (roughly five miles) daily, in combination with a diet full of fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats.
The unfortunate truth is that even if you don’t smoke cigarettes, you can still be exposed to secondhand smoke. Sometimes this is truly unavoidable but do your best to distance yourself from those who do smoke. Research has shown that even secondhand smoke can be deadly, especially to those with fragile lungs.
Now that we have talked about the four most important ways to protect and improve heart health, let’s look at a few more…
Manage stress and find ways to unwind
Doing things such as knitting, puzzles, reading a good book or taking a nice long walk can do wonders for both your physical and mental health. Slowing down, and unwinding after a long day of work is one of the best things you can do for yourself.
It made sound silly but not only is dancing a great workout, it can raise the level of dopamine in our brains. By letting loose, having fun and moving our bodies we are doing something good for our brain and heart at the same time!
Swap out salt for herbs and spices while cooking
We all like our food to have flavor, but Americans end up consuming 10 times the recommended dose of sodium everyday. By switching to herbs and spices to flavor your food, you cut out unnecessary sodium and create more unique flavor profiles. 😉
Eat more chocolate
This tip is my personal favorite. Dark chocolate is not only delicious but it also contains heart-healthy flavonoids. These compounds help you to reduce inflammation and lower your risk of heart disease.
Eat more nuts
Almonds, walnuts, and other tree nuts have high levels of healthy fats, protein, and fiber. They are a superfood! While providing health benefits, they also give you a boost of energy. Add almonds to your mid-morning snack and see how it changes your day!
Get your cholesterol checked regularly
Every four to six years you should get your cholesterol levels checked by your primary care physician. This is a good gauge to see where you’re at and if you need to make any changes to your daily lifestyle. Bad cholesterol can lead to higher rates of plaque build up in/around the heart. Plaque can lead to heart attack or coronary heart disease.
Get your blood pressure checked
High blood pressure doesn’t typically have any symptoms but left untreated, can lead to a plethora of heart and other health issues.
Last but not least – look into pet therapy
Spending time with our furry friends has been proven to have numerous health benefits. If you don’t have a pet of your own, there are many places that offer pet therapy. The chance to be around, engage with and cuddle the sweet animals around you. If you are able to, consider adopting a pet from your local shelter or Humane Society.
Taking care of your heart now can help you stay strong, fit and healthy your whole life and it’s never too late to try any or all of the suggestions above. Go slow if you need to…
Here’s to great health and wellness!
p.s. Just in case you are looking for the perfect supplement for heart health, or any other wellness need, reach out to us here at 916-253-9276 and we would be happy to help you find exactly what you are looking for.
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