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Since your heart needs to beat without ever stopping and never halts during your entire life, it’s imperative for wellness and health that you take care of your heart.
By implementing small changes to your lifestyle and adjustments to your habits, you can help lead to an improvement in your heart function.
The act of taking care of your heart can be thought of as finding the fountain of youth,” according to Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine’s Donald Lloyd-Jones, MD, those individuals who follow these instructions will not only live longer, but spend a lot more of their life healthy, and without cardiovascular disease.
It’s important to note that you don’t have to accomplish all ten steps at once. Likewise, if you improve in just one or two of these areas, you can make yourself less likely to contract heart disease. Of course, the more health tips on this list you follow, the more satisfying your health results. So let’s get started.
1. Aim for the Magic Number of Seven Hours of Sleep.
On the next occasion you desire to stay up/out later than you should, remember how comfortable your pillow will feel and how amazing a full night’s sleep is for your heart, body, and mind.
In one analysis, researchers found that young and middle-aged individuals who slept 7 hours a night had lower levels of calcium in their arteries (an early sign of heart disease) than those who slept 5 hours or less or even people who slept 9 hours or over.
The nature of sleep they received was critical, too. Adults who stated they got good-quality sleep also had healthier arteries than those who didn’t sleep fully.
If you have difficulties going to sleep or staying asleep at night, or if you don’t feel refreshed following a full night in bed, discuss with your doctor about what adjustments you can implement to improve your sleep.
2. Keep Your Blood Pressure Low.
That cuff squeezing your arm at every physician’s visit is essential. It assesses the amount of pressure flowing within your arteries with each heartbeat.
If your blood pressure elevates too high, the additional force can weaken arterial walls and form new scar tissue. That makes it more difficult for blood and oxygen to travel to and from your heat, which makes it pump at a higher rate and gets worn out faster. If it can’t get enough oxygen, portions can start to deteriorate.
You should have your blood pressure checked at every 3-5 years if you’re between the ages of 18 and 39. If you’re 40 or older, or if you have high blood pressure, have it checked every year.
Thankfully, there are methods to keeping your blood pressure at a healthy level. Cut back on salt, reduce your alcohol to no more than one to two drinks a day, choose healthy eating options (mainly vegetables, fruits, whole grains, as well as lean protein), manage your stress levels, and exercise. These adjustments are often enough to bring your blood pressure back down into a healthy range. If not, your physician might advise you also take medication.
3. Cut Saturated Fats Fast
To improve your heart’s arteries, reduce your saturated fats intake, which is primarily found in meat and full-fat dairy foods. Pick leaner cuts and reduced-fat selections.
Also, completely cut out any trans fats, which are found in many processed foods. They heighten your levels of “bad” (LDL) cholesterol. Review ingredient lists for items that say “hydrogenated” or “partially hydrogenated,” those are trans fats.
If it has been five or more years since your last cholesterol blood levels were tested, you should have another test soon.
3. Check if You are Diabetic
Unfortunately, millions of individuals do not know that they have this condition. That’s precarious as to overtime, high blood sugar harms arteries and causes an increased chance of heart disease.
Your physician should test your blood sugar if you are 45 or older, if you are expecting a child, or if you’re overweight and have other pre-determinants for diabetes.
If it’s determined through medical examination that you have diabetes, you should work with your physician about your lifestyle choices (diet and exercise) and any drugs that you may require.
If you have marginally high blood sugar, also referred to as pre-diabetes, implement immediate action to turn things around before it becomes more damaging down the road.
One simple adjustment is to swap out processed carbs (such as white rice) for a fiber-rich alternative such as whole grains, for example, brown rice. Every positive change you make to your diet and how active you are in your daily routine will help. Over time, you will do more.
5. Move Around More Often.
Take it easy, keep it simple and straight forward, you can start off doing some moderate movement for at least 30 minutes a day, try to exercise 5 days a week. This can be movement such as walking, jogging, swimming, playing tennis, anything really. Your goal is to move, to the point where you will break a slight sweat.
“If you’re doing nothing, do something. And if you’re doing something, do more,” according to Lloyd-Jones. It may be worth paying attention to the amount of time you spend sitting down throughout the day; it can be in your car, at work, or on your couch at home. You want to reduce this downtime.
“We now understand that even if you get 30 minutes of exercise a day, being inactive for the other 23 1/2 hours is very harmful to your heart,” says Monika Sanghavi, MD, who serves as the assistant professor of cardiology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.
You should break up extended periods of sitting, to stand or walk while doing things, such as using your phone or watching a show.
6. Clean up.
Your heart performs best when it runs on a clean power source. This means you should eat much more plant-based foods (like vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds) and much less refined or processed foods (like cookies, cakes, bagels, pasta, white bread, pasta, and crackers).
You’ll notice over time, “The most recent diet fads often get overplayed in the media. But the core foods that make your heart healthy have remained consistent for decades,” according to Lloyd-Jones.
One of the quickest methods to freshen up your diet is to cut out sugary drinks like fruit juice and sodas, which do not provide the fiber or any nutritional value that is in the actual fruit. “We don’t often think about the fact that we drink way too many of our calories,” according to Sanghavi. The additional downside is that those calories will not fill us up the same way real food can, so we have them in addition to everything else we’re eating, with no nutritional gain.”
7. Think beyond the scale.
Ask your physician if your weight is at a healthy level. If you have some extra pounds to lose, you’ll probably want to change your eating habits and be more active. But there’s more to it than that.
For many individuals, “emotional eating” is where they develop a level of comfort and relief from their stress, it’s also how they celebrate. So if it’s quite difficult to change these patterns, it can be beneficial to talk with a counselor to determine other approaches to handle those situations.
8. Ditch the cigarettes, real and electronic.
Smoking and secondhand smoke are terrible for your heart. If you smoke, quit now, and try not to any spend time around others while they smoke as well.
E-cigarettes are popular, but they’re not entirely problem-free. They may not contain all the harmful chemicals in cigarette smoke. However, they do contain some harmful chemicals. They also may not completely help people wean themselves off of nicotine and smoking, since they still do contain nicotine. The healthiest goal should be to quit completely, not just swap out a less toxic alternative.
9. Do more of what you love.
“I tell my patients that controlling stress in a wholesome way, whether it’s meditation, yoga, or exercise, is really important,” Sanghavi says.
Make an effort to spend time with people that are important to you. It would help if you talk, laugh, confide, and enjoy your close friend’s and family’s company. It can do wonders for your emotional health and as well as your heart.
10. Be Happy with Every Step Along the Journey.
Instituting lifestyle changes like these takes time and effort. Think progress, not perfection. You’ll need to reward yourself for every positive step you take. Again this will may be hard work at times. Ask friends and family to support you , join in the habits and activities that you are undertaking too. Your heart’s health and wellness will be better for it!