5 Tips for a Healthy Heart
Having a healthy heart is a topic of concern for many people today and rightfully so since heart disease is the leading cause of death in America today. What is heart disease exactly? Heart disease is any disorder that affects the heart. The most common type is coronary heart disease which can cause a heart attack. In today’s society, many people are also looking for alternatives to prescription medications for heart disease or ways to strengthen the heart and possibly avoid heart problems in the future. Below are our 5 tips for a healthy heart.
- Stop Smoking. One of the biggest disservices you can do for your heart is to continue smoking or start smoking. Smoking has been proven to be one of the main causes of coronary heart disease and is also one of the most preventable. Chemicals from smoking promote the buildup of plaque in arteries that causes atherosclerosis. Not only should you quit smoking or never start, you should also avoid any second-hand smoke. However, if you do currently smoke there is good news for quitting. After you stop smoking, your risk of having a heart attack goes down to half of that of a smoker.
- Get Moving. Most people who start an exercise routine begin one for the benefits of losing weight or toning muscle. What they do not realize is that in sticking to an exercise plan, they are also strengthening their heart. Engaging in physical activity is anything that makes your body move and burn calories. The AHA recommends, “For Overall Cardiovascular Health: At least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity at least 5 days per week for a total of 150 minutes or at least 25 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity at least 3 days per week for a total of 75 minutes; or a combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity aerobic activity and Moderate- to high-intensity muscle-strengthening activity at least 2 days per week for additional health benefits. For Lowering Blood Pressure and Cholesterol: An average 40 minutes of moderate- to vigorous-intensity aerobic activity 3 or 4 times per week.”
- Eat More Fiber. Fiber is one that often does not get enough attention when it comes to heart health and most Americans fall short of getting the recommended amount of fiber each day. Fiber is referred to the part of a plant that is resistant to digestive enzymes. Even though fiber is not digested, it delivers an abundance of health benefits to the body including heart health. Fiber binds with certain substances that would normally result in the production of cholesterol, and eliminates these substances from the body; therefore, helping to lower high cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease. Fiber may be found in many different foods including: whole grains, brown rice, fresh fruit, beans, nuts, seeds, lentils, peas, and fresh raw vegetables.
- Eat More Fish. Fish, especially salmon, herring, tuna, and sardines, are good sources of fish because they have higher fat content and provide more omega-3 factors than other fish. Omega-3s have many desirable effects. They improve the skin and hair, reduce blood pressure, aid in the prevention of arthritis, reduce the risk of blood clot formation, and lower cholesterol and triglycerides. If you do not like fish or just do not consume enough fish, fish oil soft gels are a great alternative to ensure you are getting the recommended dosage for omega-3s.
- Know Your Numbers. Another simple and important tip for having a healthy heart is to know your numbers. Many heart diseases may show no signs or symptoms until something bad happens. So, do yourself a favor and schedule an appointment with your doctor today. It could just save your life.