Heart disease has eclipsed some of the world’s deadliest diseases as the leading cause of death in today’s day and age. Over 600,000 Americans succumb to heart disease every year across the country.
But what is it about heart disease that makes it so pervasive? In short, it boils down to our lifestyles today. A combination of high-stress levels, poor diet, lack of exercise, and other lifestyle factors make us all a target for poor heart health.
So, if you’re looking for ways to improve heart health, this blog offers some helpful tips.
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Proven Ways To Improve Heart Health and Live Longer
Of course, there are genetic risk factors that make a person more susceptible to poor heart health. But even if you have a history of heart disease in your family, there are lifestyle changes you can make to improve your odds.
These lifestyle changes have particular reference to diet and exercise, which can do wonders for your longevity and greatly reduce the risk of heart failure:
1. Keep Active and Move Your Body
Not only is exercise beneficial for your overall health and so many other bodily functions, but it can do wonders to improve the strength of your heart and cardiovascular system.
Exercise also helps to maintain your weight, improve body fat composition, lower your blood sugar and blood pressure, and strengthen your bones. Not to mention the stress relief it offers, too.
2. Keep Your LDL Cholesterol Levels in Check
There are two main types of cholesterol in the body: HDL (the good kind), and LDL, the not-so-good kind. Ideally, you want to keep LDL levels in the blood low. In fact, LDL cholesterol levels have a direct impact on cardiovascular degeneration and the development of heart disease.
You also want to keep track of non-HDL cholesterol because it’s also one of the best predictors for your risk of heart disease. By following a well-balanced diet, low in saturated fat, you can keep cholesterol levels in good shape.
3. If You’re a Smoker, It’s Time To Quit
It’s easier said than done, we get it. But smoking is a huge contributor to the development of heart issues such as atherosclerosis and heart disease. This is because nicotine and tobacco smoke damage the lungs, which puts pressure on the heart. It can also harden your arteries and cause a host of terrible health issues.
According to the CDC, it’s one of the top controllable factors to help prevent heart disease and heart attack.
4. Pack Your Diet Full Of Omega-3 Fatty Acids
As mentioned earlier, your diet is key to managing the health of your ticker. Not only should your diet include a good balance of protein, complex carbohydrates, and fresh fruit, and vegetables, but omega-3 fatty acids are essential.
You can supplement your diet with omega-3s by eating fish such as salmon, tuna, sardines, and herring. Or, you could take an omega-3 supplement.
5. Reduce Your Salt and Fat Intake
Salt is a major contributor to a number of health conditions including high levels of cholesterol and heart disease. In today’s day and age, salt is in everything, especially processed and pre-packaged foods. The same goes for saturated fats and processed sugars.
The best thing you can do for your heart is to be aware of how much-processed food you’re eating in a week. Try to cut back on takeout, and cook more often, where you can.
6. Take the Time to De-Stress
Stress is a huge contributing factor to cardiac events such as stroke and heart attack. If you want to reduce your risk of experiencing either of these things, it’s crucial to keep your stress levels in check.
Schedule some time in your day specifically dedicated to stress relief. Whether it’s a boxing session, a meditation session, a long outdoor walk — you have to put your health and your heart first.
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These simple ways to improve heart health don’t take excessive amounts of effort — but they do take commitment. By putting your health first and foremost, you are protecting your heart, thereby improving your odds of living a longer, happier life.
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