Shockingly, 610,000 Americans die each year as a result of heart disease.
In light of this, we’ve compiled together our top advice on how to keep your heart healthy. If you take this info on board, you should drastically reduce the chances of suffering from heart disease.
Let’s dive on in!
Are You at Risk of Heart Disease?
If you fall into one (or more) of the categories below, sadly, you pose a higher risk of contracting heart disease, and should pay even closer attention to the below advice:
- Are you a female over the age of 55?
- Are you a man over 45?
- Did either your brother or father suffer from heart disease before they turned 55?
- Did your sister or mother contract heart disease before the age of 65?
If you answered yes to any of these, you need to sit up and take immediate action, because, despite all this doom and gloom, there are plenty of things you can do to keep your heart healthy.
1. Eat Well
By well, we mean consume a nutritious diet.
This goes a long way in maintaining both healthy cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and your weight.
Here are a few dietary tweaks you can make to get the ball rolling:
If you enjoy drinking alcohol, only consume it in moderation. Stick to the recommended daily units for your age, weight, and gender.
Reduce Your Fat Intake
Limit your intake of saturated fats by opting for leaner meats and low-fat dairy options. You could also use canola oils for cooking, rather than sunflower oil.
Limit How Much Salt You Eat
You can do this by implementing the following suggestions:
- Don’t cook with salt
- Don’t add salt to your snacks
- Avoid processed foods
The American Heart Association suggests consuming less than 1,500 milligrams of salt a day, so try your best to stick to this recommendation.
Eat Fruit and Veg
Eat at least two and a half cups of fruit and veg each day. Not only does this help keep your heart healthy, but it’ll also reduce the likelihood of contracting a stroke or suffering from cancer.
Plus, if you can get into the habit of snacking on fruit and vegetables, you’re far more likely to maintain a healthy weight- win-win!
Eat whole grains.
This is essential for lowering both your cholesterol and blood pressure levels. In addition to this, it’ll also prevent the likelihood of developing type two diabetes.
Examples of whole grains include:
- Corn tortillas
- Brown pasta
- Brown rice
Head online, and research new tasty recipes to try, you could have some fun with these!
2. Start Exercising
Adults need half an hour of activity at least five days a week. This is essential for maintaining a healthy heart.
Rest assured, you don’t have to exercise continually for 30 minutes. You can break it up into three chunks of ten minutes. Perhaps a walk to work, a lunchtime run, and a few squats before bed?
A routine like this is usually more manageable if you have a busy schedule, yet it still does the trick.
3. Quit Smoking
If you smoke, stop. It’s as simple as that.
If you’re not a smoker, try to stay away from inhaling secondhand smoke as this is just as dangerous.
There are a few methods you can try to help you quit. However, you need to commit to finding a way that works best for you, to ensure you successfully stop.
You could consider:
- Support groups
- Nicotine gum or patches
Either way, you should also consult your physician for the most up to date advice on the subject.
4. Manage Your Stress
Sadly, stress has a way of creeping into our everyday lives, and this isn’t good for our hearts.
So, make an effort to relax and unwind at the end of the day. Switch off your phone, stop checking your emails, and remove all distractions, and focus on chilling out, entirely.
You may also want to try participating in one of these stress-busting activities:
You get the idea! Give them all a go, and see what works for you.
Top Tip: in addition to the above, you should attempt to laugh a little every day. Watch a funny sitcom, hysterical YouTube videos, or share a joke with your loved ones. Laughter is excellent for your heart’s health.
Research implies that laughing lowers your stress hormones which help keep your arteries clear and raises your ‘good cholesterol’ levels. Evidently, laughter really is the best medicine!
5. Schedule Regular Checkups
If you take the health of your heart seriously, attend regular checkups with a medical professional.
You should request the following health checks:
- Blood pressure
- Blood sugar
The sooner you know your readings, the quicker you can work to get them to where they need to be. Both high blood pressure and cholesterol wreak havoc on the state of your heart. So, it’s good to take this seriously.
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