Love and gratitude are good for your heart but they are not enough to keep it healthy. Your lifestyle choices majorly decide the health of your organs including your heart. In this article, we will be discussing some healthy heart tips.
An inactive lifestyle means an unhealthy you. However, this sedentary lifestyle does not have to define your personality. If you make slight moderation in your daily routine, you will be able to notice major improvements that will gradually help to keep a better and healthy body.
Sadly, heart diseases are among the leading causes of deaths in today’s era. But the hopeful news is that by making small changes in your everyday routines, you can lower the risk of developing heart disease.
Healthy Heart Tips For Your Heart Care
Here are 15 simple and key steps to achieve a healthy heart, have a look to know what are the heart care tips:
1. Quit smoking
Irrespective of how cool you think you look while smoking, the act doesn’t help you maintain a healthy body, at large. Smoking and tobacco consumption are one of the biggest reasons for coronary heart disease. Tobacco causes major harm to blood vessels and heart. Giving up on smoking is one of the top healthy heart tips. It is advisable to quit smoking as early as possible by using nicotine patches or chewing gum.
Here’s some motivation to quit consuming tobacco: “The risk of having a heart attack in a non-smoker is nearly half of that in a smoker”. So in order to prevent heart attacks, just quit it. Also, read about Why should I Quit Smoking?
2. Start working out
Regular exercises have numerous benefits. One of them is lowering the risk of heart attack and stroke. If you work out on a daily basis, not only will you remain in good shape, your organs will also remain healthy for a longer period of time.
Apart from boosting self-image, regular exercises do a lot for heart care:
- It strengthens your cardiovascular system
- It improves blood circulation in your body
- Exercising Increases endurance
- It improves balance and flexibility
- It increases energy levels
For a fit heart, it is advised to have an aerobic session lasting at least 30 minutes of moderate activity, at least four times a week. But you should increase your activity level gradually to avoid injuries. If you are not habitual of working out on an everyday basis, you can begin with doing some yoga. Yoga has been proven to relax your body and thus reducing stress levels, additionally to maintaining heart health.
Other common types of physical activities you can choose from are:
- Lifting weights
If you have a desk job, just like the writer of this article, or a busy schedule, you can do some sitting exercises also, to help you maintain heart health. These include ankle pumping, knee straightening, hip bending, shoulder touching, arm circles and more.
Pro-tip: Devise a workout plan for yourself. Planning to exercise at the same time everyday will help you get into a routine for overall health. Make your workout sessions fun by doing the activities you enjoy or finding an exercise buddy to keep up with the routine.
3. Healthy Diet
Deciding what to eat is one of the hardest choices. But it should also be a wise choice because a good diet is one of the top controllable factors for heart disease. It is because the whole cardiovascular system benefits from the energy intake from the food.
Once you know which food to eat and which ones to avoid, changing your eating habits will not be a major task. Here are some tips to have a balanced diet for a healthy heart
- Measure how much you eat: It is equally important to eat the right portion of food as is eating the right food. Overeating may lead to intake of more calories which can be harmful for your heart. You should keep track of your servings while eating. Large portions of low-calorie, nutrient rich-foods and small portions of high-calorie, high-sodium foods is ideal.
Pro-tip: Start using smaller bowls or plates to help control your portions and get habitual of eating the right amount of food, eventually.
- Say Yes to Fruits and Vegetables: Fruits and Vegetables are rich in dietary fibres. They contain substances which help prevent cardiovascular disease. They are also good sources of vitamins and minerals. A full plant diet has been proven to have reduced the risk of heart disease.
Pro-tip: You should eat fruits in full form and avoid juicing it in order to consume all the fibre.
- Choose whole grains: Refined grain products can be substituted with whole grains. Whole grains contain high fibre and play a role in regulating blood pressure. Whole-wheat flour, whole-grain bread, high fiber cereal and oatmeals are some whole grain products to choose from.
- Pick Healthy Fats: Not all fats are unhealthy. You read that right. The conception among common masses is to relate all fats to high cholesterol. A high blood cholesterol may lead to a heart attack. It is important to know the types of fats- Saturated and Trans Fat , to limit and control their consumption.
Fats to pick: Nuts, Seeds, Vegetable oil and Olive Oil.
Fats to Avoid: Gravy, Cream and Butter.
- Limiting sugar intake: The consumption of sugar is directly related to the intake of calories. Higher calories level means higher risk of developing heart disease. Sugar is added to 75 percent of processed foods. You should monitor your intake of sugar and processed foods.
- Pre-plan your meals: It can be a tough task to actively decide your balanced meals while carrying on with your day. It is beneficial to plan your menu ahead of the day so that you do not have to worry about your intake of nutrients.
You should focus on adding ‘superfoods’ to your diet to improve heart health.
Food and beverages to pick for better heart care:
- Sweet Potatoes
- Green Tea
- Red Wine
- Low-fat dairy products
- Greek Yogurt
Foods to avoid for a healthier heart:
- Vegetables with creamy sauce
- Fried vegetables
- Frozen fruit with added sugar
- Red Meat
- Fast Food
Apart from this healthy food, there is a simple to cook meal plan for your heart. Meals and snacks in this plan to incorporate heart-friendly foods: nutrient-packed vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nut, lean protein, and heart-healthy fats, to keep things flavorful with low calories and without adding too much sodium.
4. Control your drinking spree
If you are a regular consumer of alcohol, it is time for you to rethink your decision to limit your intake of alcohol. It has been noted that regular alcohol consumption can have fatal effects on a person, especially on the heart.
Instead of alcohol, you should drink plenty of water every day. You should start by reducing the amount of alcohol you take, slowly and gradually pass an entire day without drinking until you quit entirely.
5. Lead a stress-free life
Accomplishing everyday tasks is no less than a race in today’s age. It is evident that everyone deals with different type and extent of stress every day. Not only your mental health, but your heart health is also affected by this consistent and excessive stress.
It is advisable for you to learn how to manage stress to be entirely stress free, gradually. Stress management can be easy after an amount of patience and sincerity. Meditation, healing music and breathing exercises are prime stress healers and can be performed everyday.
Pro-tip: At workplaces or situations that require instant stress management, you can try the Count-10 technique. In this technique, you only have to focus your energy on your breath and count slowly to 10. The concentration on the breath in this exercise helps to instantly calm down in a stressful situation.
Also, Read About: Effect of Stress on Heart
6. Brush your teeth daily
How are you reading about dental hygiene in an article relating to heart health? Confused? Well, don’t be. Because your dental health plays a major role in determining your overall heart health.
The heart is tied to many functions of the body and can be affected by many seemingly unrelated functions. There is a link between the bacteria that causes gum disease and increased risk of heart disease. So brushing and flossing your teeth everyday is important to take care of your mouth and your heart.
7. Monitoring Diabetes
If you have diabetes, it becomes mandatory for you to monitor your overall health. It is not only to monitor your diabetes but also in order to avoid other diseases such as heart disease. High calorie level in a diabetic patient makes him/her more prone to a heart illness. So regular check-ups should be conducted to control diabetes.
Taking regular screenings of your diabetes checkup should keep you informed about your heart’s health and let’s you prepare beforehand, if needed. You may, as well, talk to your doctor about your plan and maintain a log of your screenings.
8. Monitoring Blood Pressure and Cholesterol
High blood pressure and high cholesterol are both harmful as far as heart health is concerned. It is important to track and monitor blood pressure and cholesterol screenings. They may not be causing any problems in everyday functioning so far but deem harmful in the longer run. High blood pressure and high blood cholesterol level can lead to a heart attack.
9. Managing your weight
We have already discussed the need for physical activity and healthy diet to maintain heart health. Now, we give you more reasons to adapt that lifestyle: obesity or the need for a healthy weight.
Being overweight is considered another risk factor for heart disease. Therefore, it becomes extremely important for you to workout everyday and eat a balanced diet. Obesity causes more heart problems and should be treated to avoid them.
Also, Read About: Is Weight an issue for Your Heart?
10. Getting a good-night’s sleep
Bedtime should be made compulsory for people of all ages. Not only because it upholds regularity but also because it lets you cover a good 7-8 hours of sleep.
Sleep is when the body repairs itself. A quality and undisturbed sleep is necessary to maintain and improve your heart health.
11. Go ahead and eat some chocolate
That’s right. We are telling you to eat chocolate but since we have also told you to maintain calories, it is important to choose the right chocolate.
Dark chocolate should be chosen over sweetened milk chocolate as it has heart-healthy flavonoids. So don’t feel guilty and indulge your sweet tooth.
12. Cut down on salt
High salt intake leads to high blood pressure which further leads to heart disease. So to have a healthy heart, it is necessary to cut down on salts you take throughout the day
You would need to avoid readymade foods as they are packed with high levels of salt.
13. Laugh Out Loud (LOL!)-
Laughter is the best medicine. The saying also works in favour of improving heart health. It is not only important to live longer but also to live happier. Laughing out loud (not only in just text messages but in real life) majorly improves heart health. Laughter reduces stress and decreases the risk of heart disease.
14. Read Food Labels
We all are habitual of checking food packets for their MRPs. It’s time to start reading food labels now because knowing and monitoring what you eat, will help to manage your diet. Having a healthy and balanced diet will help in improving heart care.
15. Breathe Deeply,
Listen to Music, Read more and Live Life
Enjoying the little things about everyday life will help you to lead a healthier life with healthier organs. To improve heart health, you should smile more often, listen to relaxing music, read books and breathe deeply taking in a good amount of oxygen. Since all of it helps reducing stress and pressure, it will keep heart illness at bay.
It may be difficult to imply all the above steps into practice at once. We recommend you to start slowly and change your lifestyle moderately. Start by cutting one cigarette down, reducing one glass of alcohol, eating one portion of fruits and vegetables a day, one aerobic session in two days and so on. Once you adapt to these changes, with motivation and dedication, you will move towards making bigger changes in your routine.
Also, Read About: Healthy Lifestyle for Healthy Heart
However, you are facing any complications regarding your heart health, it is advised to consult a cardiologist in India before executing the action plan. In this case, book an appointment with Credihealth.
For more information and free personalized guidance, talk to Credihealth Medical Experts.