If you are serious about living a healthy life, you need to take proper care of your heart. The heart is one of the most important organs in the body, working even when you are asleep. Here are five great ways to keep your heart healthy.
Take steps to quit smoking and keep your heart healthy. The harmful chemicals found in cigarettes increase your chances of developing coronary heart disease and suffering a stroke. Smoking damages your blood vessel linings and causes blood to clot, putting you at risk of cardiac failure. Even long-term smokers can see results almost immediately once they stop smoking. Within hours of quitting, your heart rate and blood pressure can decrease to near normal levels, reducing your risk of heart attack.
It is important to keep active throughout the day. The heart is a muscle and will get stronger when you exercise. Whether you decide to jog, walk, dance or go to the gym, be consistent. If you are not used to exercising, start slowly and gradually increase the intensity of your exercise sessions.
Nutrition directly affects heart health. A high-cholesterol diet causes your arteries to clog with fatty residue, increasing your risk of heart disease. It is important to eat a balanced diet with lots of fruits and vegetables. Foods rich in fiber help to lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease. Pay attention to your sodium and sugar intake as too much of either can contribute to an unhealthy heart.
Manage your stress
Stress can have a negative effect on your heart. It can cause your blood sugar and blood pressure to rise, increasing your risk of heart disease. Find ways to manage your stress level. Don’t isolate yourself. Talk to a friend or family member about what you are going through. Take up yoga or another relaxation technique to unwind. The important thing is to find what works for you.
Maintain a healthy weight
Maintaining a healthy weight helps reduce the risk factors associated with heart disease. If you have developed high blood pressure, high blood sugar and high cholesterol levels, you are at greater risk of developing heart problems. Being overweight is directly linked to these conditions, so work on getting rid of any excess pounds — and keep them off! If necessary, get a professional to help you determine what weight you should target for optimum health.
The heart is a vital organ and you must take good care of it. Whether you need to adjust your diet, exercise or change your entire way of life, act now to keep your heart in good condition.