A heart beats almost 2.4 billion times during an average lifetime. Hence, it’s upon you to keep your cardiovascular system healthy and strong to avoid heart disease. Heart illness is the leading killer of both men and women and has claimed many lives than other types of cancer. Being diagnosed with heart disease may take an emotional toll, thus, affecting your quality of life, mood, and outlook.
The best ways to avoid heart disease include managing risk factors and changing your lifestyle. While weight control can keep your cardiovascular system in good shape, the following ways will ensure you boost the health of your heart:
The potential of boosting the health of your heart is impressive. However, according to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control), only 20% of Americans meet the Physical Activity Guidelines of this organization. For many adults, this could mean getting 90 minutes of high-intensity exercises, such as running, or 120 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise, like walking every week.
Staying physically active is an important step towards achieving a healthy heart. As a matter of fact, it serves as a tool for strengthening the heart muscles, keeping weight in check, and warding off all the possible artery damages due to high blood sugar and cholesterol. Apart from walking and running, there are other exercises which can help you achieve the same goal; they include:
- Doing yoga
- Weight training
2. Tame Your Stress
Stress is part of life. You can have stress when you have an illness or insomnia. The response of stress is meant to offer you protection, though if it becomes constant, it will bring more harm than good. Usually, when you have stress, cortisol is produced to handle it. According to the studies, high cortisol levels may increase triglycerides and blood sugar, all translating to heart disease. When you have chronic stress, you may try to look for antianxiety medications, such as Prozac and Xanax. However, if you need a natural remedy, CBD products can also help you to tame your stress. Whether you find CBD vape juice or capsules preferable on sites like CBDvapejuice, cannabidiol products can handle stress and relieve anxiety.
3. Adopt a Healthy Eating Lifestyle
The heart is an important organ that can be affected by almost all the aspects of life, including the food you eat. The right choices of food you make can minimize the risks of getting a heart attack, stroke, and cardiovascular illness. You may also handle other risk factors, such as type 2 diabetes and obesity.
Coming up with the correct food choice may be difficult, though the whole thing does not need to be complicated or confusing. You can simply drizzle olive oil over your salad or rather use it to sauté an assortment of some colorful vegetables. Olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fatty acids that lower LDL cholesterol levels. The oil also has antioxidants, which prevent damages that can be caused by harmful free radicals. Other than using olive oil in your food, you can also satiate your diet with:
- Whole grains
- Fatty fish
- Dark chocolate
4. Quit Smoking
The chemicals in cigarettes can cause damage to the heart in different ways. For instance, carbon monoxide is a poisonous gas, which enters your bloodstream. It reacts with oxygen in your blood, depleting the concentration of oxygen in the tissues and organs. In addition, the gas also makes the walls of the artery stiff and hard, thus, increasing the risks of getting a heart attack.
Apart from carbon monoxide, cigarettes also have nicotine that makes blood vessels narrow and may jack up your heart rate and blood pressure. The smoke in cigarettes may also raise LDL levels, and blood fat referred to as triglycerides. Luckily, the damages of tobacco are reversible. Once you stop smoking, the risks of blood clot lower. Your bad cholesterol level will also go down, helping you slow the buildup of more plaque deposits.
5. Schedule Checkups
Balancing between work and school makes many people find it challenging to squeeze an appointment into an already jam-packed schedule. Making time to have an annual exam is important for your health, even when you don’t have vascular conditions. Various heart conditions, as well as, their risk factors, such as high cholesterol levels, might go unnoticed if heart screenings and regular screenings are not included in your routine.
A perfect way to avoid cardiovascular conditions is to manage and detect main risk factors, including high blood sugar and blood pressure. By carrying out a heart screening yearly, your doctor may test for these risk factors and prescribe perfect treatment options. Some of the examinations the doctor may conduct include:
- Blood glucose test
- Cholesterol test
- Blood pressure test
6. Stop Taking too Much Alcohol
Alcohol can be helpful and harmful to your heart at the same time. Too much alcohol may weaken your heart muscle and make the organ grow bigger. This can result in heart failure, meaning that the muscles of your heart will not be able to pump enough blood to meet the requirements of the body. Drinking too much alcohol may also cause fast and irregular heartbeats referred to as atrial fibrillation.
Though drinking a small amount of alcohol can improve the health of your heart. It reduces the risks of heart attack and death from blood vessels in some individuals. This is because a small amount of alcohol in your body lowers blood pressure and cholesterol.
It’s a common myth that being fit and staying healthy is all about exercising and eating healthy food. However, in reality, establishing a healthy lifestyle and sticking to it is not based on these two factors alone. You may need to also have a positive attitude and work towards achieving the wellness of your heart. One out of four US citizens dies because of heart disease. While this is disheartening, starting a healthy journey is important. February, the ‘National Heart Month,’ is a perfect time to begin changing your unhealthy lifestyle and start being active, eating healthy food, avoiding smoking, and handling stress. This way, you will be able to keep your cardiovascular system healthy!