Here are 6 proven ways to improve your heart health. Following these natural steps will help keep your heart strong, free from diseases, and also improve your overall wellbeing.
Cigarette smoking causes about 20% of deaths in the United States every year. Smoking is harmful to almost every organ in the body including the heart, lungs, eyes, bones, digestive systems, and so on.
According to the National Institute of Health, tobacco smoke contains chemicals that can damage the functioning of the heart, as well as the structure and functioning of blood vessels, and increase the risk of atherosclerosis. A condition in which plaques build up in the arteries. Plaque build-up in the arteries inhibits the blood’s ability to carry oxygen to your organs and other parts of the body. This build-up in the arteries can lead to Ischemic heart disease. This can lead to heart attack, heart failure, lung cancer, and even death. Additionally, smoking is a major risk factor for peripheral artery disease, high heart rate, and high blood pressure. If you smoke, quitting is vital for a healthier heart; if you don’t smoke. don’t start.
Avoid Passive Smoking For A healthy Heart
Exposure to second-hand smoking is as bad as smoking for your heart health. Studies show that passive smoking causes nearly 34,000 deaths in the United States every year. It is the third leading cause of preventable deaths in the united states. It accounts for over 8,000 stroke deaths annually. In every 8 smokers’ death there is at least one due to passive smoking. Research found that a 20mins to 8hours exposure to smoke increases platelet activities, speed up the build-up of fat in the artery walls, and reduces the blood’s ability to deliver oxygen to the heart and inhibits the heart’s muscles’ ability to use oxygen to create energy. Another study concluded that smoking increased the coronary death rate in the U.S never smokers by 20% – 70%. Avoid second-hand smoking. Avoid places where smoking is allowed. Don’t allow friends and families to smoke in the house and cars. Quitting smoking and avoiding second-hand smoking is a great way to improve your life and heart health
Exercise and Move More
Sitting for too long is bad for your heart health. It raises your risk of heart diseases, stroke, high blood pressures, and increases your cholesterol. Research shows that physically active people have lower blood pressures, higher insulin sensitivity, and a more favorable plasma lipoprotein profile. Exercise can help with weight loss, balance improvement, give you more energy, and help you sleep better. You can walk or cycle instead of driving. take the stairs instead of lift or escalator. Get off the bus a mile from your bus stop and walk the rest. Walk around the house while on the phone, swim, do yoga, and take martial art classes. Brisk walking, running and rope skipping are all examples of light exercises to keep your heart healthy. Aim for at least 30 minutes light exercise daily and 5 days per week to improve your heart health and function.
Healthy eating will improve your heart health and boost your immunity against infections and diseases. For your heart health, choose foods that are low in saturated fat, trans fat, and sodium. Eating foods high in trans fat and saturated fat will increase your bad cholesterol level and lower your good cholesterol level. This results in an increased risk of heart disease or stroke. Eat plenty of fiber foods like sweet potato, whole grains, cereals, oats e.t.c. – Fiber helps lower your risk of heart disease. Cut down on salt, use natural spices and herbs to add taste to your cooking. Eat fatty fishes like sardines, salmon, and tuna for omega-3 fats which helps to protect your heart against diseases.
Drink less alcohol – Alcohol can cause many health problems. Read food labels. Go for foods with 0% trans fat. Eat 5 portions of vegetables and fruits daily – This will ensure you are getting more nutrients, vitamins, and minerals and consuming low calories.
Get More Sleep
Good sleep is essential for a healthier heart. Irrespective of your age, weight, and other healthy habits – Poor sleep will increase your risk of cardiovascular diseases and coronary artery disease. Try to get at least 7 hours of sleep every night. While this may not be possible every night, It is important to sleep that long as many nights as possible. According to the Center For Disease and Prevention Control, Adults who sleep less than 7 hours each night are more likely to have health problems like heart attack, asthma, and depression. Inadequate sleep can also lead to unhealthy weight gain and slower metabolism which is not good for your heart health.
Here are a few ways to improve your night sleep for a healthier heart.
- Lose weight
- Stick to a regular sleep schedule
- Get enough light during the day
- Don’t eat or drink close your bedtime
- Keep your bedroom cool, dark, and quiet.
Manage Your Weight
Being overweight can cause high blood pressure. High blood pressure can lead to heart attack, stroke, and unexpected cardiac death. being obese can also increase your triglycerides (a type of bad cholesterol) and reduce your HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol). Aim for normal BMI of between 19 and 25. Control your belly fat. A study by Cleveland Clinic shows that losing 4 to 10 pounds of weight in a 200-pound person will raise their HDL cholesterol and reduce their LDL cholesterol by almost 20%. Another study found that leads to structural and functional changes in the heart, which may lead to heart failure. Manage your weight by eating healthy, being active, and staying away from every habit that might make you gain unwanted weight.
Other ways to manage your weight to improve your heart health include:
- Reducing your portion
- Be aware and plan
- Be more active
- Avoid junks
Heart Disease is the leading cause of preventable deaths in the world. In the above article we have listed 6 proven ways to make your heart healthier and stronger. Following these steps will not only improve your heart but also improve your life.