Looking after our hearts is essential in leading a long and healthy life.
So, it’s vital we take the time to increase the integrity and strength of our hearts. While sometimes it may seem obvious what steps we have to take to ensure our bodies remain healthy, at other times we just need a push in the right direction.
Our hearts are prone to a multitude of ailments, and the way we live can have a major impact on the overall health and strength of it.
We need to take a long close look and discover what ways can benefit and develop a strong, healthy heart. So, here are seven little gems that can help you develop and stronger and healthier heart, and also help reduce the risk of developing potential life threatening diseases.
Table of Contents
1. Exercise Daily
The heart is a muscle, and just like any muscle of the body, it needs exercise to increase its vitality and strength. Any form of exercise is beneficial for your general health and well-being, so, by taking part in just 30 minutes of exercise a day will do your body and heart the world of good.
Aerobic exercise can be a gentle and easy way to coax yourself into becoming more physical, while just taking the time to walk instead of driving your car everywhere.
If however, you’re feeling rather more energetic you can enjoy taking part in more vigorous cardiovascular exercises. This can involve such activates as jogging, running, cycling and swimming; all of which can be done indoors or outdoors.
To maintain a healthy heart, it’s essential that you try and persist in doing exercise daily, and not give up on this important activity for your heart. Therefore, you should be aiming for approximately 30 minutes of moderate to intensive exercise per day.
Whilst, exercising will help reduce your cholesterol levels in your blood, it will also lead to a stronger, healthier heart; you just have to get into the habit of moving more.
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle takes hard work and dedication, and by consistently doing exercise it will become like second nature.
What to do:
30 minutes of exercise per day.
Strengthens heart; reduce cholesterol; improve general health.
2. Adequate Sleep
A lot of people underestimate the power of sleeping properly and getting enough sleep. It’s usually the last thing on the minds of people trying to improve their health.
Sleeping effects many aspects of our lives and it has a major impact on our general health and our hearts. With sleeping disorders affecting most of us at some point in our lives.
Lacking sleep can have a negative effect our hearts, such as increasing risk for certain heart conditions, therefore, it’s paramount that we take great consideration in improving our sleeping habits.
By not sleeping enough this can alter your metabolism and increase the stress hormone within our bodies. Therefore, increasing the risk of heart disease, weight gain, diabetes, and even a contributor for depression; with depression also increasing the risk of heart disease.
It’s best to relax before you plan to sleep, while you also shouldn’t eat too much before you sleep as this can leave your body difficult to unwind. If you suffer from sleeping problems, it may be better to seek professional help to resolve your sleeping issues.
What to do:
Sleep well at night.
Reduce risk of heart disease; maintain metabolism.
3. Healthy Eating
There’s nothing more important than maintaining a healthy diet.
And by consuming the correct foods, this will improve the strength and health of our hearts immensely. Breakfast is an important meal of the day and should never be missed, and eating a healthy breakfast will ensure you’re body starts the day off correctly. Whilst eating at the proper times throughout the day, will prevent you from overeating during the day.
Eating high fibre foods such as, porridge, nuts, beans, fruits and vegetables will help to lower your cholesterol levels. Try and ensure you eat your five a day and consume the recommended daily amounts of vitamins and minerals for you body.
You should also try to aim for creating a balanced diet. A balanced diet can consist of foods such as fresh fruit and vegetables, rice and pasta, wholegrain bread, oily fish, and starchy foods.
Eating healthily will reduce the risk of heart disease developing, whilst also increasing your chances of survival of a heart attack.
What to do:
Get your five a day and eat a healthy diet.
Reduces health implications caused by obesity; lowers cholesterol; increase survival of heart attack; reduced risk of developing heart disease.
4. Reduce Unhealthy Fats and Salt
We all know that there are healthy fats and unhealthy fats to contend with, in keeping our bodies healthy. We need to reduce the consumption of foods that are high in sugar and saturated fats, such as; dairy products, cakes, and chocolates, which are all a major contributor to heart disease.
Too much salt is never good for anyone.
By having a diet consisting of high salt intakes, this will increase blood pressure, and therefore, increasing the risk of developing coronary heart disease. A keen eye should be used when purchasing products during shopping and great care should be taken to read and understand the ingredients contained within products.
There are products that contain high amounts of salt even though they are classed as healthy alternatives these include; breakfast cereals, breads and bakery. While processed foods, ready meals, and tinned vegetables usually have a high salt content, by taking time to check the food labels will help you make healthier eating choices.
What to do:
Reduce consumption of unhealthy fats and salt.
Reduces risk of developing coronary heart disease; prevents high blood pressure.
5. Alleviate Stress
Reducing the stress in your life can and will reduce high blood pressure and increase your overall life expectancy.
The two main effects are increased risk of strokes, and heart attacks for people with consistently high blood pressure. Being stressed in life can also cause us to induce more negative aspects, these include sleep deprivation, loss of appetite, and possibly drink and smoke more.
You can help reduce stress in your life by practising in such activities as yoga, meditation, and participating in some form of exercise, all of which can help to clear your mind and reduce tension.
What to do:
Reduce risk of heart attack, strokes, and high blood pressure.
6. Quit Bad Habits
If you’ve managed to pick up any bad habits over the years; as I’m sure many of us have.
There is no better time than the present to start removing these negative aspects out of our lives.
Excessive consumption of alcohol and smoking, can increase the risk of developing further heart conditions as well as a wealth of other conditions.
Consuming excessive amounts of alcohol can lead to obesity, raise blood pressure, and damage the heart. While binge drinking will increase the risk of having a heart attack. Drinking in moderation will not adversely effect your health.
Smoking is possibly the single worst habit that should be encouraged to quit; the health benefits of stopping to smoke are vast in number.
If you give up smoking your chances of having a heart attack reduces rapidly, while if you continue to smoke your chance of experiencing a heart attack more than doubles; when compared with a non-smoker.
It is also a great contributor to developing coronary heart disease. There is plenty of professional help out there to stop smoking, and with public bans in force, now is a good time to try and rid yourself of this extremely negative habit.
What to do:
Stop smoking and reduce alcohol consumption.
Reduced risk of heart attacks; heart disease; high blood pressure.
7. Visit Your Local Doctor
It’s always a good idea to visit your doctor if you feel anything wrong.
While a doctor can diagnose some serious ailments, which can in time, increase the risk of health problems.
Therefore, visiting your general practitioner should not be something to put off. Your doctor will be able to test your blood pressure, check cholesterol, whilst also supplying help and support to tackle obesity, sleeping disorders, drinking problems, and of course smoking.
What to do:
Check-up at your doctors.
Check health implications; blood pressure; cholesterol; help and support for a variety of problems.
By taking in some of the information and making use of these 7 habits, you should be able to improve the health of your heart, and prevent some life threatening diseases.
While, it’s never too late to take action on becoming healthier, why don’t you begin to creep some of these habits into your daily lives and start benefiting today, with a healthier lifestyle.
And the best thing to keep in mind is; take everything in moderation in life, don’t overdo something, or overeat unnecessarily.
Health by choice, not by chance.