heart health tips

Eight Simple Tips to Improve Heart Health

To maintain good health, you need a strong heart with a regular beat. Fortunately, there are many things you can do to ensure that your heart remains as healthy as possible.

Get good quality regular sleep. If you don’t get sufficient good quality sleep regularly, your mind and body can’t rest and recharge properly. Statistics show that people who have poor sleep patterns are twice as likely to suffer from a fatal heart disease. You need at least seven hours of sleep per night to preserve your heart’s health.

Reduce stress. Everyone has at least a stress source in his or her life. But you can choose to manage it, or let it overwhelm you and suffer as a result. If you are stressed, your blood pressure and heart rate increase. There are many ways to de-stress, though; you can exercise, listen to music, read, do other activities that will help you handle stress.

Control your alcohol consumption. Studies show that a small amount of alcohol can increase your good cholesterol. However, since alcohol also contains calories, it may increase your blood pressure, leading to heart beat abnormalities and worsening existing heart problems. This means that you should only consume a small amount of alcohol, if at all.

Quit smoking. Smoking is a very bad habit because it can cause heart disease, cancer and other medical problems. Literally, the minute you quit, you start to improve the health of your heart. Once you have been off cigarettes for a year, your risk of heart disease reduces by 50%. And if you manage to stay off them for 10 years, your heart health risk will be at the same values with as a non-smoker.

Decrease your blood pressure. Reducing your use of salt will help lower blood pressure, which is a major contributor to heart disease. Buy a blood pressure monitor and check it regularly. If your blood pressure is high, see your doctor to discuss options.

Strength training helps. You can increase the strength of your heart by doing strength training, which also reduces weight and body fat, increases endurance and helps build muscle mass. Do exercises for both lower and upper body. If you do this regularly, your good cholesterol value will also rise. Find someone to exercise with; this way, both of you will be motivated more than if you trained alone.

Have an active social life. Studies reveal that if you lead an active social life, have a partner and/or a family, have plenty of friends and socialize a lot, your blood pressure will be lower than if you lead a solitary existence. Your heart will also be stronger because you are enjoying life.

Eat healthy food. You need to put healthy food in your mouth to maintain good heart health. Yes, it’s ok to indulge occasionally, but your general diet should consist of fruit, vegetables, protein, dairy and other good foods that help keep you active and healthy. Shop in the fresh section of your supermarket first. Avoid processed foods as much as possible. See a dietitian if you need advice in this area.

Everybody can look after their heart. It is just a matter of wanting to do the right things, with the goal of keeping your heart strong, so that you can enjoy a long and healthy life.

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