6 Must-Do Tips For Better Heart Health

Your overall approach to health plays a huge role in the development of future medical conditions, including those that affect the heart. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), heart disease remains the leading cause of death in the United States, even greater than deaths caused by injuries and other diseases such as cancer. To reduce your risk of heart disease, make a conscious effort to strive for a better state of wellness by actively seeking ways to improve your health on a daily basis.

1. Kick Your Smoking Habit in the Butt
Smoking is considered to be the leading cause of preventable death, as reported by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. There are more options available to help you kick the habit than ever before. Over-the-counter and prescription products are available, as well as online support groups available around the clock. Pick your start date, plan your quit method, then stick with it. Do not give up if you do not succeed on your first try. Most people need more than one attempt to quit for good. The American Heart Association notes that just one year after quitting, you cut your risk of heart disease in half.

2. Lighten Up Those Weighty Matters
Those who are overweight or obese are at an increased risk of heart disease. When losing weight, rapid weight loss and fad diets are not healthy. Simply put, in order to lose weight, you need to burn more calories than you take in. Choose food options that provide quality nutrition, including healthy fats like lean turkey, wild-caught salmon, and avocados. Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and help to satisfy some of your hunger. Weight loss is a slow process and should involve making permanent, healthy changes in your lifestyle rather than aiming for the impossible quick fix.

3. Work Your Body to Work Your Heart
Exercise is a major key to a strong and healthy heart. A sedentary lifestyle is the second highest preventable risk factor behind smoking to chronic disease and premature death. You need to get at least 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity every week, or about 30 total minutes on most days. If you cannot fit 30 minutes at a time, try for 10 or 15-minute blocks to reach your daily total. Choose aerobic activities that get your heart pumping for heart-strengthening results. Don't discount activities as simple as taking a daily walk. Everything matters.

4. Sleep Your Way to a Happy Heart
Those who get fewer than 6 hours of sleep each night are nearly twice as likely to develop heart disease than those who get 7 or more hours of sleep per night. This lack of sleep does not actually cause heart disease, but can affect the risk factors for this condition. Sleep helps to reduce stress, lower blood pressure, increase insulin sensitivity, and decrease heart rate.

5. Stress Less for Heart Wellness Success
Stress can increase your blood pressure and have a negative effect on your other efforts to maintain a healthy heart. When you feel stressed, you may get less sleep, avoid exercise, make poor food choices, indulge in drinking or smoking, among other unhealthy behaviors. Find ways to de-stress every day to keep stressors from damaging your heart. Meditation has been proven to help in this area.

6. Control Your Other Health Conditions
If you have other medical conditions that can affect the health of your heart, make sure you keep those factors under control. Whether you can use self-help measures or need assistance from a doctor, managing issues such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and high blood sugar can all go a long way to reducing the impact these factors can have on your heart. 

4/7/2023 4:00:00 AM
Rob Greenstein
Written by Rob Greenstein
Rob Greenstein is the Editor-in-Chief and President of Wellness.com, Inc.
View Full Profile Website: http://www.wellness.com/


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