Cardiovascular diseases remain to be the number one and world’s leading killer, causing 1 in every 3 deaths. There are several risk factors especially when combined unhealthy lifestyle which contribute to heart attacks and strokes. Genetics can also play a vital role to your heart health but it is always recommended to jumpstart lifestyle changes towards a healthier heart. Make smart choices now that will pay off the rest of your life. Remember, your heart is working around the clock for you. You are never too young, or too old to take care of your heart.
Start with a heart-healthy diet. Think about which is more important, your kitchen cabinets or your bathroom’s medicine cabinet? Right now, your answer might be your medicine cabinet. But the truth is, you should start with your kitchen cabinet, pantry, and your grocery list. Whatever you eat influences a lot of things that contribute to heart disease. Cut down on salty and processed foods. As part of a healthy diet, eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, fiber-rich foods, fish, nuts and seeds. Limit sugar and sweetened beverages. If eating meat, choose the leanest cuts available. Avoid canned, processed and fast food as much as possible. Use natural sources like vinegar or lime juice to season your food instead of high-sodium condiments.
No ifs, no butts. Quit smoking. The use of tobacco and exposure to it and its second-hand smoke is harmful to your heart. If you are a smoker, it will be the biggest gift of health you can give your heart and yourself. Immediately after quitting, you will feel the effect and soon its long-term health benefits. The risk of heart disease will decrease once you decide to ditch cigarettes.
Shed off some pounds and maintain your ideal weight. Being physically active and keeping a balanced diet will help you a lot to watch your weight. As you age, you may notice your metabolism is slowing down. Get plenty of exercise and find a workout routine that you enjoy. Let the music move you, dancing makes a great heart-healthy workout like other forms of aerobic exercise do. Your body needs fewer calories as you get older. Hence, excess weight causes your heart to work harder and increases the risk of heart disease, diabetes, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure.
Laugh out loud. Do you believe that laughter is the best medicine? It does. Laughter triggers the release of endorphins which promote an overall sense of well-being and can even temporarily relieve pain. Whatever means you find laughter, may it be watching funny movies, cracking jokes with family and friends, laughing out loud will be good for your heart. It decreases inflammation in your arteries and raises the levels of good cholesterol.
Know your numbers and have yourself checked regularly. Monitoring your weight, blood pressure and blood sugar is vital to keep a healthy heart. Some people do not exhibit symptoms, so knowing these numbers will help a lot.
Find your happy place. A positive outlook will be good for your heart as well as your mood. What you feed your body, your mind and your soul will make up your well-being. Nourish your heart, it is the most important muscle which should never fail to be around for you. As long as the clock is ticking, your heart should be pumping. ♥