Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S. and worldwide. Healthy habits can be your greatest defense against heart disease. They can also prevent stroke and heart attack. Here are some of the best habits you can incorporate into your lifestyle to keep your heart healthy.
1. Consume a Balanced Diet
A poor diet high in salt, sugar, or processed meats is usually linked to diabetes, stroke, and heart diseases.
To keep your heart healthy, it’s important to eat a balanced diet consisting of fruits, vegetables, fish, whole grains, and omega-3 fatty acids. You should limit processed and red meats, sugary drinks, sodium, and trans fats. You should also drink lots of fluids daily.
If you enjoy drinking tea, adding green tea to your daily diet is good for your health. It also helps to control your portions so you can maintain or achieve a healthy weight.
2. Exercise Regularly
The lack of physical activity can make it difficult for your body to fight against heart-related problems like obesity, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure.
Making exercise a regular part of your life is a great way to keep your heart healthy. Since your heart is a muscle, it also needs to be consistently worked out so it can stay strong. It is ideal to exercise for at least 30 minutes a day, five times per week. Some of the easiest exercises you can regularly do are walking, running, cycling, and dancing.
If you don’t have a lot of time, you can just incorporate small exercises into your daily life like walking instead of taking a cab, dancing while cooking or folding the laundry, and taking the stairs instead of the elevator.
3. Get Enough Sleep
When you lack sleep, your body releases chemicals that make it hard to maintain your heart rate and blood pressure. High blood pressure can lead to heart disease in the long run.
Getting enough regular sleep every night is crucial to your health and well-being. A person typically needs six to eight hours of sleep every day. If you have trouble falling asleep, you can get checked by a doctor to rule out a sleep disorder. You can also help yourself by sticking to a sleep routine every day, which means going to sleep and waking up at the same time daily.
4. Manage Stress
If you’re stressed out, it can spike your blood pressure, causing your heart to beat faster. Although it’s just a temporary reaction and will eventually go back to normal, it can still cause damage to your heart and blood vessels. High levels of stress can also promote behaviors that are unhealthy for the heart, like smoking, overeating, and drinking alcohol.
It can be hard to manage stress, but it’s doable. You can start by trying meditation techniques. Another way to manage stress is by doing hobbies or activities that make you happy.
5. Cut Back on Smoking and Drinking
Smoking is one of the most unhealthy habits that can increase your chance of developing heart disease, even if you just have one cigarette a day.
On the other hand, frequently drinking too much alcohol can raise your blood pressure and cause irregular heartbeats, leading to cardiomyopathy. It’s a condition that makes it difficult for your heart to deliver blood. Cardiomyopathy makes a person 40% more likely to have a heart attack.
Although cutting back on drinking alcohol and smoking can significantly improve your heart health, avoiding them entirely is still the best option.
A small healthy lifestyle change can have a major effect on your heart health. To get a full checkup and know how healthy your heart is, you can contact Kingwood ER. We can also guide you as you improve or maintain your heart health.