Your heart is the epicenter of your health. It works around the clock to power your circulatory system and supply nutrients to cells around the body. As such, your heart deserves proper care to do its job so you can enjoy life to the fullest. As we approach February, the heart health month, do your heart a favor and use the tips below to keep it healthy.
1. Do Some Cardio
Cardio or aerobic activity is vital for a healthy heart as it increases your heart rate and enhances cardiorespiratory fitness. The American Heart Association recommends 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity and 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise every week. You can engage in vigorous-aerobic activities such as running, jumping rope, and cycling, and moderate-intensity activities such as dancing, biking, and brisk walking.
2. Live Smoke-free
Quitting smoking is an excellent way of keeping your heart in top-condition. Smoking damages your heart and blood vessels. Also, it increases your likelihood of getting cardiovascular diseases. Also, avoid second-hand smoke because it causes heart attack and stroke.
3. Get Adequate Sleep
A good night's sleep is good for your heart seeing as it lowers blood pressure and allows the body to repair itself. So, ensure you sleep for at least seven hours every night.
One research study revealed that poor sleep results in high blood pressure which increases your heart disease risk.
4. See a Doctor for Regular Checkups
It is best practice to consistently see a doctor for a heart health check. The doctor will determine your risk factors for heart disease, including diet, blood pressure, physical activity, cholesterol, and medical and family history, and advise accordingly. They can also help you manage your risk factors for greater heart health.
5. Laugh More
Whether you are watching a movie or cracking jokes with friends, laugh out as loud as you can –it is good for your heart. Laughing decreases artery inflammation, reduces stress hormones, and increases good cholesterol.
6. Practice Good Dental Hygiene
Poor dental health contributes to bacteria in your bloodstream that affect heart valves. As such, it is imperative to have good dental hygiene. Your heart will thank you for it. According to recent studies, brushing your teeth twice a day can decrease your risk of cardiovascular disease.
7. Eat Healthy
A healthy heart needs a healthy diet filled with fruits, whole grains, vegetables, and legumes. A healthy diet improves your blood pressure and cholesterol while decreasing your risk of heart diseases. Avoid salty foods and saturated fats because they increase your blood pressure and raise bad cholesterol.
8. Maintain a Healthy Weight
Excess weight increases your vulnerability to heart disease and high blood pressure. Therefore, you should strive to maintain a healthy weight. Stick to a healthy diet, exercise regularly, and decrease calorie intake for a healthy weight.
9. Drink More Water
Something as simple as drinking more water can keep your heart healthy. Your heart works round the clock and pumps around 2,000 gallons of blood daily. Drinking more water helps your heart to do its job properly.
10. Get Active
Avoid sitting for long periods as it increases your risk of cardiovascular disease. Engage in activities that get your heart rate up – take the stairs instead of the elevator, walk your pet, play with your kids at the park, and do household chores.
It is never too late to adopt lifestyle changes that keep your heart healthy. The changes can be as simple as sleeping more, brushing your teeth, drinking more water, exercising, eating healthy, and getting regular checkups.