Heart Healthy Tips

Date2015-10-12

The heart is the workhorse of the human body pumping blood through arteries and veins all day every day. The heart muscle is unique in that it has the ability to function under great stress. Its job description includes maintaining blood pressure, allowing people to breath, providing oxygen and nutrients to cells, all while helping to eliminate waste products from the body. In short, the power of the heart is what keeps people alive. It beats billions of times and pumps millions of gallons of blood through the body over a lifetime. Taking good care of the heart is the first step towards a long and healthy life.

1. Do Not Smoke

First hand and second hand cigarette smoke has been directly linked to heart disease. If a person smokes, they need to stop, and if they have not started then don’t. People who smoke are more likely to experience some form of heart disease in their lifetime.

2. Control the Weight

Being overweight is hard on the heart and can lead to coronary heart disease or a heart attack. Those extra pounds make people more susceptible to coronary artery disease, arrhythmia, cardiomyopathy, and heart failure. Keeping the body mass index at a healthy level is an important step to protecting the heart.

3. Eat Right

Eating a well-balanced, heart healthy diet is one of the best weapons against heart disease. Fruits and vegetables are high in dietary fibers and are low in calories. Whole grains are also a good source of fiber and help the body to regulate blood pressure levels. People need to limit the amount of unhealthy fats, such as saturated fats and trans fats, from their diet. Choosing lean meats and using low-fat substitutes is recommended as part of a heart healthy diet plan.

4. Keep Moving

The heart is a very important muscle that needs to be exercised to keep it operating at its best. A sedentary lifestyle is dangerous for the heart and mind. Just thirty minutes of brisk exercising a day five times a week can make a big difference in a person’s overall health. Aerobic exercises such as jogging, swimming, walking, or biking combined with strength and stretching burn calories and strengthen the heart.

5. Tame the Stress

Stress may raise blood pressure that overtime can lead to heart disease, chest pain, and irregular heartbeats. People can manage stress by controlling their emotions and implementing positive interactions into their daily routine. An active lifestyle decreases stress levels and helps fight off depression.

6. Keep track of the Numbers

Regular physical exams keep people advised of their blood pressure, cholesterol count, blood sugar levels, and triglycerides. Knowledge opens the door to change, and keeping track of the numbers while working to improve them is the right move.

7. Good Oral Health

Studies show that there could be a direct correlation between poor dental health and heart disease. People with gum disease or periodontal disease may have an increased risk of coronary artery disease. Pick up the toothbrush now and schedule a trip to the dentist.

8. A Good Night’s Sleep

The simple act of sleeping gives the body and mind a chance to recover from its daily routines. It has a positive impact on the way the heart operates by possibly lowering high blood pressure. A full restful night’s sleep helps people feel better both physically and mentally.