Tips to Keep your Heart Healthy
Updated: Sep 20
Overall, we all do our best to be health-conscious. It’s an effort to think about the food we eat and the daily habits we develop. Mostly, we know what not to do and we are fairly aware of what is dangerous behavior now that science plays such a large role in public life. We have read the studies about smoking and we have read the labels reading “Warning: Contents May Cause Cancer”. Yet, somehow, our health in America is declining. Heart disease is a large killer of Americans every year. Nearly 600,000 people die every year from heart disease alone, most of these deaths consisting of men. So what can we do to stop this epidemic and protect ourselves from heart disease?
Where to Start
There are so many factors that come into play when considering heart health and healthy habits. This disease can vary based on your genetic makeup. Thus, pay attention to a family history of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and obesity. Knowing about these preexisting conditions will help you to combat the disease in a specific way that your body responds. There are also behaviors that make you more at risk than others. Jot down a few things that you think you can improve on in your daily life physically. If they are diet, exercise, smoking, or drinking then you could be at higher risk of heart disease.
What should you do? First, start moving your body and make it a habit. On average, it takes about 22 days to make something routine in your lifestyle. This is the hard part, but once it becomes a habit it will not be hard to keep it up. Make sure to add cardiorespiratory activity to your daily routine; something as simple as walking around the neighborhood twice a day can decrease your risk of heart disease. Diet is next! Eliminate as much sodium and as you can from your diet and replace it with natural fruits and vegetables. Reach for foods like fish, avocados, nuts, olive oil, eggs, yogurt, or rice. All of these foods are able to nourish your body and improve your heart and digestive functions.
If you are wondering how to improve your diet so that the foods you are eating can actually improve heart functionality, look no further! Eat fish or take fish oil supplements if you do not like the taste! This form of protein is full of omega 3 fatty acids which have been proven to reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke. Furthermore, for a quick snack on the go, grab a handful of fresh fruit and nuts. These are rich with antioxidants and high in healthy fat and fiber. Another great tip that is a personal favorite is flaxseed. Luckily, you can add it to almost any meal with virtually no taste. Add it to a smoothie, stir fry, soup, or your morning oatmeal and benefit from the omega-3 fatty acids and phytoestrogens to boost your heart health. It is never too late to start a healthy habit! Happy eating!