“7 Strategies Toward a Healthier Heart” is a collaborative post and includes affiliate links. Please see the disclosure page for more information. Disclaimer – always verify medical information with your doctor or a professional and follow all laws for your location.
The human heart is an amazing organ. It has captured the human imagination for millennia. It is often graphically depicted as a symbol of love, caring, and romance. We use it as a metaphorical “center” to ourselves, a moral compass, and even a source of bravery and strength. Its biological functions are just as interesting. In fact, there are entire disciplines of study focused on cardiovascular health.
Those in the medical field need to keep up on the latest ACLS courses to always know the most up-to-date life-saving techniques. You never know when this training will be necessary to use.
But what makes the heart so important?
The heart is necessary for the flow of vitamins and oxygen through the human body. It functions as a dependable piston, continuously pumping blood throughout the body 24/7. A healthy heart can dramatically reduce the risk of becoming chronically ill or suffering a heart attack. In short, practicing heart-healthy lifestyle choices can be vital to a vibrant and long life. Read on about suggestions for maintaining a healthy heart.
Eat More Whole Foods
Diet is incredibly important when it comes to maintaining a healthy heart. The foods we eat have sizable implications on heart health. Fibrous, vitamin-rich foods such as vegetables, fruits, and whole grains are essential to an optimally functioning heart. Practicing a diet focused on heart health will also positively affect other aspects of your health.
Decrease Processed Foods
While burgers, tacos, and pizza are undeniably tasty, they can also cause weight gain and heart troubles. Fast food and salty snacks are cheap and convenient but have a hidden toll on the cardiovascular system. By reducing the intake of these foods, you will be taking a step toward a healthier heart. So put that donut down! Really. Put.It.Down.
We are all familiar with the worrying sensation that accompanies a late bill or pending job interview. And don’t even get me started about year 2020 stress. It is easy to dismiss these negative feelings as situational. Regular stress can be more dangerous than most people think. Continual stress can lead to a myriad of health problems. There are many ways to easily improve stress, such as exercise, prayer meditation, or even watching a funny movie. Finding healthy ways to cope with stress can be incredibly beneficial for your heart.
It is no secret that smoking is bad for your lungs, but did you know that it can also have repercussions for your heart? Smokers have an elevated risk of heart disease and other cardiovascular problems. If you are a smoker, quitting can be one of the greatest gifts you can give to your heart and the rest of your body. Plus, who likes to have ashtray breath?!
Attending regularly scheduled checkup examinations is a necessary step to keeping your heart healthy. In fact, this may be the most important recommendation on this list. I have a midlife aged family member that didn’t know she had high blood pressure until a visit to her doctor last year. She is now on her way to changing her diet and lifestyle and in turn reducing her blood pressure. This is so important for her because high blood pressure and heart attacks are very common in her family. Your doctor is qualified to ask the proper questions and perform tests that can detect heart risks. Primary care physicians offer an invaluable service for those seeking a healthy lifestyle.
Have a Glass of Wine
Who says heart health can’t also be a little enjoyable? Many studies have concluded that a glass of wine can have a positive association with heart health. Saying “cheers” to your health could help you in the long run. Before you begin chugging, it should be noted that the benefits of drinking wine should are limited to a small, daily amount. It is never recommended to over-indulge in alcohol as it can have an adverse effect on heart health.
Go for a Walk
An evening walk is a relaxing way to blow off stress and contemplate your day. But did you know that it also has heart benefits? It is a low-impact exercise with long-term benefits to health and mobility. A consistent schedule of going for walks can become an enjoyable routine that has been shown to lower the risk of heart disease and also help decrease stress.
Maintaining a healthy heart requires some work and dedication. That said, it can also be rewarding in itself to have a healthy dinner or enjoy a glass of wine. Rather than seeing health as a grueling ordeal, it should be seen as an investment that will pay off in longevity and decreased stress. Even if you can’t commit fully to each of these, nudging yourself in the right direction is a great step. Start by eating an extra helping of veggies or taking the dog for a walk. Your heart will be happy you did.
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