In honor of Valentine’s Day, we are going to talk about hearts. But not the way you think! Keeping your heart healthy is very important as heart disease is the number one cause of death in the United States. Here are some areas in which you can improve your heart health.
Stop smoking! Smoking is one of the top controllable risk factors for heart disease. Even if you don’t smoke, staying away from those who do can help eliminate secondhand smoke.
By cracking up during a movie or conversation with a friend, you are lowering stress hormones, decreasing inflammation in your arteries and raising your HDL – high density lipoprotein (good cholesterol). So go ahead, laugh!
Sitting for long periods of time could shorten your lifespan. If you sit often, remember to regularly get up and move around.
Keeping track of your numbers is important! Taking note of your blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol, and triglycerides is important for good heart health. Remember to schedule regular check-ups with your physician.
Your diet is a very important factor of your heart health. One way to be healthier is to eat healthy fats instead of trans fats. Our bodies need fats in our diet, including saturated and polyunsaturated and unsaturated fats. Healthy fats include – avocados, nuts, cheese and eggs.
According to the Mayo Clinic, a diet rich in soluble fiber can help lower your level of low-density lipoprotein, or “bad cholesterol.” Other rich sources of soluble fiber include oats, barley, apples and pears.
Don’t forget to make time for breakfast. Eating a nutritious breakfast every day can help you maintain a healthy diet and weight. Eat foods such as whole grains, lean protein, low-fat dairy products and fruits and vegetables. If you don’t have much time in the mornings, look into recipes like overnight oats or egg bites in muffin tins!
Exercise is key when it comes to heart health. And interval training might be the best method. During interval training, you alternate bursts of intense physical activity with lighter activity. Doing so can boost the number of calories you burn while working out. So next time you’re out on a walk, try power-walking for 5 minutes and casually walking for 5 and so on!
Stretching is an important part of exercising. Yoga help with balance, flexibility and strength. As if that’s not enough, yoga also has potential to improve heart health.
If you don’t think you can do interval training or yoga, simply vacuuming or mopping your floors do get you moving. They can give your heart a little workout, while burning calories too.
By making the simple choice to take the stairs, you are adding up to a great workout!
The next time you feel overwhelmed go on a walk! Even short walk can help clear your head and lower your stress levels, which is good for your health. If you take a half-hour walk every day, you will see a drastic change in your physical and mental health.
By changing your habits, you can add years onto your life! Use this list as a guide in 2019 to improve your heart health!