When it comes to living a long, happy life, there are few aspects more important than your health. More specifically, the condition of your heart can dictate not only how long you live, but also the quality of life you experience. Because it pumps the blood that delivers nutrients and oxygen vital to survival throughout the body, a healthy and well-functioning heart is one of the most vital organs in your body. There are a few things you can do to improve heart health and prevent damage as you age.
What happens if heart health is poor?
While poor cardiovascular health can lead to death, it’s important to understand exactly how a decline in heart health can impact your life before that happens. The leading cause of death across the globe is heart disease. Whether it’s due to a lack of health education, a sedentary lifestyle, or poor access to adequate nutrition, an average of 24 million individuals worldwide are expected to develop and die annually to heart disease by 2030. In the United States of America, the numbers are even more concerning, with heart disease killing one fourth of all deaths and serving as the leading cause of death for both women and men.
There are many risk factors that can make your chances of developing heart disease more common, and about half of the U.S. population has at least one of them. Some of those factors include:
· Lack of Exercise
· High Cholesterol
· High Blood Pressure
· Poor Diet
· Poor Sleep
With the above in mind, what can you do to keep your heart as healthy as possible and stave off heart disease? Let’s take a look at three strategies to improve heart health.
1. Eat Well
If you’re wondering how to improve your heart health naturally, nutrition should be your top priority. Your body needs a variety of vitamins and nutrients to thrive and consuming too few of them can lead to a decline in cardiovascular health. Eating things that aren’t heart-healthy is also a major issue. Saturated fats are a big contributor to heart disease risk factors, for example, and they come from food like fatty meats and full-fat dairy. Sodium, trans fats, and cholesterol are equally important to watch.
The best way to cut trans fats out of your life as much as possible is to avoid processed food. Read the food labels before you buy and be on the lookout for “partially-hydrogenated” or “hydrogenated” ingredients – these refer to trans fats. Sodium is prevalent in many foods, and in some instances, you might not even be aware that you’re consuming too much. Pay close attention to nutrition labels and calculate how much you’re eating daily. Cut that down to the recommended daily amount or below to keep your hearth in good shape. Cholesterol can be
avoided by cutting back on eggs, dairy, and meat. While meat can be high in protein, it can also become a serious cholesterol hazard, so plan your diet smartly to avoid unintentional increases.
The most important takeaway here is that a balanced diet is how to improve heart health without the use of medication (or used in conjunction with medication, if necessary). Eat plenty of vegetables and increase your intake of nuts, legumes, and seeds as a substitution to meat for your protein needs.
2. Exercise More
Moving around more is how to improve your heart health, too. Exercise is important to cardiac wellness because it helps reduce fat build-up and conditions your heart to keep it strong and well-functioning. The goal is to get your heart pumping, so exercise like running, walking, swimming, bike riding, and jumping rope is the best option. This is especially true if you’re just beginning to exercise as all of the above are rather gentle on your heart. Yoga is another option to include alongside more vigorous activity to improve flexibility, promote relaxation, and strengthen your core.
If you’re struggling to include exercise into your daily schedule, there might be easy solutions that you haven’t considered. Do you take an elevator at work? Take the stairs instead. If you can park some distance away from the door, that’s a good way to get some brisk walking into your days, too. Any exercise is good exercise, but the goal is 12 to 30 minutes a day. That’s how to improve your heart health with exercise – by making physical activity a normal part of your days.
3. Lower Stress
Stress is a major risk factor for cardiovascular problems because it causes your heart to overexert itself. When you’re anxious or stressed, your heart beats faster – and if you are constantly experiencing those emotions, your heart is working in overdrive all day long. Much as you should include exercise in your daily schedule, consider also including some relaxation techniques to help keep yourself grounded and work through anxiety and stress in a healthy way. This includes activities like yoga, briefly mentioned above, as it helps calm your body and mind and can often make a significant impact upon stress.
Try to get between seven to eight hours of sleep every night, too, as your body and mind are more able to cope with stressors when they are well rested. And, if possible, take at least one vacation – even if it is a “staycation” – every year to give yourself time to rest and leave daily stressors behind as much as possible.
Don’t compromise on your heart health. Eat well, exercise, and get as much sleep as possible to live your best life and keep your heart in good shape with the Cardiovascular System Peptide Bundle: