Cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death globally, showing just how important it is to take care of your heart. Even if you’re currently in good health, prevention is better than cure so there are lots of things that you can (and should!) be doing. Read on to find out more.
Eat a Healthy Diet
It’s not always easy to eat the right things. Unhealthy foods are convenient, and when we live busy lifestyles many of us find ourselves grabbing these kinds of options. But aiming to eat well most of the time is important; it will help to keep your weight in check and good food will nourish every cell in your body. Learn to cook so you can enjoy delicious food without all of the additives. Get organised so you’re taking healthy foods with you on the go instead of relying on takeout and processed junk where you’re caught short. Fruits and vegetables, low fat dairy products and whole grains should feature in your diet. It’s not to say you can’t enjoy the things you really love, but aim to practice moderation. In regards to your heart, research foods that manage hypertension and promote heart health then incorporate as many of these into your diet as possible.
Exercise gives the heart and lungs a workout, in turn this lowers blood pressure, improves lymphatic drainage, boosts mood, strengthens bones and keeps you from gaining excess weight. It’s so beneficial for your body, so if you know you don’t exercise enough this is worth considering. If your fitness levels are low, start with a low impact or gentler form of exercise, this is still beneficial to your heart and body. Swimming, cycling, even walking are all fantastic.
Get Adequate Sleep
This might not be the first thing you think about when you consider heart health, but actually, poor sleep is linked to clogging and hardening of the arteries. It’s associated with high blood pressure which can lead to heart failure, strokes and heart attacks so it’s really not to be overlooked. Chronic poor sleep increases your stress hormones as well as produce an inflammatory response which will impact your heart’s health. Find ways to wind down at bedtime, reducing your overall stress can help. Get into a good sleeping pattern and prioritise your sleep in your life when you’re organising your schedule.
Find Good Coping Mechanisms For Stress
Speaking of stress, this is one of the main contributors to heart problems. One reason for this can be due to the ways people deal with a stressful lifestyle, such as eating unhealthy foods, smoking, taking drugs, drinking alcohol and not sleeping enough which are all bad for the heart. If you’re chronically stressed or struggling with your mental health, consider getting advice from your GP.
Go For Regular Health Screenings
Health screenings can pick up issues before they turn into bigger problems. Something as simple as blood pressure and blood sugar checks and pick up potential health issues that could affect your heart, so don’t skip out on your doctor’s visits.