These simple things, like “what you eat” to “how you spend your free time,” habits can significantly impact your overall health and well-being, including heart health.
Keeping your heart healthy is essential for living a long, active life. Although some of these steps you can take are obvious, others might surprise you.
Read on here for the cardiologist’s recommended best advice for the routine habits you can change—or begin—to maintain your heart in better health.
Pack-a-day smokers have double the risk of a heart attack than nonsmokers. This is because smoking increases inflammation of your body and plaque formation in the heart’s blood vessels and thickens the blood, leading to clots inside veins and arteries. These clots can cause heart attacks and stroke.
If you’re a smoker, the most critical thing you can do is quit it for your heart health and well-being. When you quit, you will notice changes in your body begin happening almost immediately. Just eight hours after your last cigarette, your blood oxygen levels will already be increasing. Then, within a few weeks, lung function will improve as much as thirty percent.
Lower your cholesterol.
In general, an unhealthy diet, too little exercise, and higher LDL cholesterol levels lead to heart disease and heart attacks. Cholesterol is directly connected to increased plaque formation in the coronary arteries that supply blood to your heart. If significantly blocked, it can result in symptoms including chest pain and heart muscle death. By being mindful of what we eat and being physically active most days a week, we can minimize the risk of increasing cholesterol levels, which can cause a heart attack.
Strengthen your heart muscle.
According to Fitness Buffhq, your heart is a muscle like any other muscle, and if you don’t work it, it will get weak. Fitness Buffhq says: “Exercise also helps control your weight. Because obesity is another significant risk factor for a heart attack, exercise helps reduce heart disease risk.
Experts recommend at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise every week, which should not be limited to building strong quads and biceps.
Just thirty minutes of moderate-intensity activity enhances your body’s metabolism for many hours afterward, which helps to continue to burn calories and fat. Try to break a sweat most days and find ways to do physical activities you enjoy. Whether walking with your loved ones or a friend, playing golf or pickleball – keep moving.
Find balance in your eating habits.
Fitness Buufhq says: “To keep your heart in better health, follow a diet that is low in fat and sugar, high in vegetables and fruit, and includes lean proteins instead of processed meats – a typical Mediterranean diet.” He further suggests that if your eating habits need a makeover, focus on adding one heart-healthy food and subtracting one which is not good for your heart. For example, add one fruit or a vegetable to each meal and take out a food that contains higher sugar, saturated or trans fat. This way, you gradually shift toward a balanced, heart-healthy diet. This will keep your focus on healthy eating.
Many studies have shown that 80 to 95% of people who try a crash diet gain the weight back after some time.
Many people often eat for emotional reasons, like when they get bored, sad, or nervous; they tend to eat more. Unfortunately, none of these are good for your heart and overall health.
Though social connections may seem less related to your heart health compared to diet and exercise, they’re still critical. Studies have shown that social loneliness and isolation can impact your heart health. If you and your social circle understand the importance of a healthy lifestyle, you’re much more likely to stick with it.
Don’t skip tooth-brushing.
Oral health is also essential to heart health! For example, studies have shown that gum disease is connected to heart disease, so take care of your teeth and gums.
About Author: Renu Bakshi, AKA Fitness Buffhq, is ISSA Certified Elite Trainer. He passed Personal Fitness Trainer Course, Nutrition Health Coach course & Specialist Exercise Therapy course from ISSA, the USA obtaining + 97% marks. He shares his experience and knowledge about nutrition and effective workouts to get you in the best shape of your life, no matter how old you may be. The author says: “For me, age is just a number!”