Focus on Fruits
And vegetables! Fixing your diet will reduce your risk of high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and excess body weight. The first step is to incorporate fruits, vegetables, and whole grains into your diet. These foods will help you eat more fiber and prevent heart disease. Another big cause of high blood pressure is too much salt. Lower your sodium intake by avoiding fast food and processed/prepackaged meals.
To keep weight off your waistline, make exercise a priority. Squeeze in thirty minutes of exercise every day, whether it is chasing your kids around the yard or walking around the mall while running errands. For office workers, sitting at a desk all day can shorten your life span, so take short walks throughout the day if you can, even if it’s just running up and down the stairs. Parking farther away will increase your steps, and standing at your workstation will help prevent blood clots. If you are wondering if your weight is healthy, check out a BMI calculator to know what range you need to be in.
Boot the Butts
If you’re currently smoking, stop. That may sound harsh, but it really is the best thing you can do for your health. Coronary heart disease is largely caused by smoking, and when you give up cigarettes, your risk of heart attack decreases. If tobacco is a coping mechanism, try changing to a healthy behavior instead, like exercise or a hobby to relieve stress. If you’re trying to stop smoking, read this for tips on how to kick the habit for good.
Fish are Food
Try eating fish at least twice a week for all of the benefits of fish oil. The Omega-3s in fish are great for heart health, and fish improve your overall weight and diet. The Mediterranean diet, which includes fish instead of red meat, has long been praised for its effect on heart health and ability to lower cardiovascular disease, so there may be something to it. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, limit and monitor how much fish you eat.
Unwind Your Mind
Take a load off! Finding healthy ways to cope with the stress in your life will keep you living longer. Whether it is putting together a puzzle, cooking, or filling in an adult coloring book, finding ways to create and relax will relieve stress and help you stay heart healthy. If you don’t have a hobby in mind, try meditation. Clearing your head can relieve worries and eliminate stress.
Laughing is good for you. Not only does laughing lower stress, but it can also reduce inflammation in your arteries and raise the good cholesterol in your body. Make an effort to spend more time with the people who make you smile the most. If you’re struggling to smile each day, watch your favorite sitcom and join along with the laughing track.
Get Those Zzzz’s
Sleeping recharges your body. No matter what else you do, if you are not sleeping enough, your heart can’t work well. Adults should sleep for at least seven hours a night. Shutting off your phone two hours before bed is ideal for staying asleep through the night. If a sleep disorder like apnea is keeping you restless at night, consider visiting a sleep clinic to get to the root of the problem.
Keeping your heart healthy is a key to maintaining overall wellness. Changing your lifestyle will take time, but taking steps in the right direction is the way to a healthy heart. Start with one change at a time to develop lifelong habits towards wellness.