If you are searching for the answer on how to keep your heart healthy, you’ve come to the right place. With an estimated 837,000 deaths every year, cardiovascular disease is by far the most prevalent killer we have. Too put it in perspective, it’s thought that one-third of all deaths are due to cardiovascular disease and complications of heart disease. Luckily, there are things you can do to prevent becoming a statistic and to live a healthy heart lifestyle right now.
What do you know about heart disease? Let’s start with a quick review of the most common misconceptions about your heart health.
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Common Heart Health Myths
When it comes to a healthy heart, what you don’t know can hurt you. In fact, it can kill you. Let’s take a look at the top six excuses that people use to ignore their heart health before providing healthy heart tips.
- Cholesterol checks and cardiovascular diseases are for the elderly: Not so much. Cholesterol checks should begin at age 20 and be repeated every five years or so, or more frequently if cardiovascular diseases run in your family. If you have a history of high cholesterol, it’s a good idea to have your kids checked early in life. Your lifestyle choices now will affect your odds of developing heart disease as you age. It’s estimated that one-third of Americans have cardiovascular disease, and many of them are younger. You are at risk if you have plaque buildup because of unhealthy eating habits in your youth and not consuming heart-healthy foods.
- Blood pressure gives warning signs: Think again. Some people may experience palpitations, headaches, or fatigue if their pressure rises dangerously high, but for most people, high blood pressure is a silently deadly disease process.
- Chest pain is the ultimate sign of a heart attack: Yeah, not really. The classic signs of chest pain and pressure may not be present in diabetics. Women also have what is considered “atypical heart attack symptoms.” Dizziness, shortness of breath, numbness in the arms, and even pain extending to the jaw or the back can all be signs of a heart attack.
- I’m doomed because my family has a history of cardiovascular disease: Not entirely true. While a family history of cardiovascular disease increases your risks of developing it, there are ways to keep your heart healthy.
- Leg pain means I am out of shape or old: This may be true unless it isn’t. Leg pain can be a warning sign of cardiovascular disease, specifically Peripheral Artery Disease. PAD is the result of a buildup of plaque, and having PAD means you are at a higher risk of a heart attack.
- I’ve had a heart attack, so I need to take it easy: While it may be necessary to tweak your routine activity levels a little, heart attack victims survive and thrive with a low to medium intensity exercise program. Staying active will allow you to live longer and stay healthier than those who do not exercise after a heart attack.
- Red wine reduces your risk for heart attack: Red wine and other kinds of alcohol can instantly raise your risk of heart attack and stroke, according to the American Heart Association. This risk, however, decreases over time. As long as you’re consuming a moderate amount of alcohol (one drink per day for women and two drinks for men), red wine will likely not harm your heart in the long run.
Healthy Heart Tips
There is no excuse to ignore the health of your heart. Living a healthy heart lifestyle is easy to do and will let you stay healthy and strong for your family and yourself. We all know that exercise and diet are two of the vital parts of having a healthy heart, but did you know that there are plenty of other changes you can make today for the sake of your heart?
We know that YOU know this, so we’ll just leave it here. Regular experience can help you to build strong heart muscles. If you are wondering about the healthy heart exercises, then aim for a balance of cardio and strength training.
Aerobic training makes you breathe more deeply which ultimately makes your heart work harder to pump blood. Aerobic exercise also raises your heart rate which burns your calories. Some examples of aerobic exercise include walking, jogging, running, dancing, swimming, and bicycling.
2. Healthy heart diet
Again, you already knew this. The foods we consume can affect our body weight, our hormones, and the health of our organs, including the heart. Eating a healthy diet can help reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke. Low fats, high fiber, low cholesterol, and low salt foods make a healthy heart diet.
3. Drink plenty of water
Studies have shown that drinking liquids and consuming foods that have high sodium levels lead to high blood pressure and not eating enough liquids result in dehydration which causes sodium levels in the blood to rise. So, staying well hydrated is essential, and drinking water is a much healthier choice than sugary juice or soda.
4. Lower your stress levels
Every day we are facing are a different kind of stress, some are work-related or some are relationship or some are just health-related. Stress is a one-way trip to developing high blood pressure, unhealthy life choices, and ultimately cardiovascular disease. For controlling your stress, you can follow different methods that psychologists use to relieve stress.
5. Don’t cut the carbs completely
Speaking of carbs, did you know that not all carbs are bad? Low carb foods can be great for heart health because they raise good cholesterol levels, and decrease blood pressure and triglyceride levels. Many studies show that some people successfully lose weight on a low carb diet.
Seeds, nuts, whole grains, sweet potatoes, and beans are some healthy and delicious carbs you can add to your healthy heart diet.
6. Keep up on your dental health
Taking care of your teeth isn’t a proven way to prevent heart disease. Oddly enough, there has been a proven link to poor oral hygiene and cardiovascular disease. Studies have shown:
- Periodontitis (gum disease) is associated with an increased risk of developing heart disease.
- Bad dental health raises the chance of a bacterial infection in the bloodstream, which can affect the heart valves.
- Tooth loss patterns are connected to coronary artery disease.
- There is a strong connection between diabetes and cardiovascular disease and evidence that people with diabetes benefit from periodontal treatment.
7. Create an easy to follow a routine
Creating your healthy routine is an important way to keep on target. Plan your exercise, plan your diet, and keep up with your routines. In our healthy heart tips, we also suggest you make it a point to visit the doctor regularly and keep track of your heart stats, including blood pressure and cholesterol.
Also, you need to understand the normal fluctuations of your body. Your blood pressure and pulse will change as you go through your daily activities. Keep track of them so that you understand what is normal for you throughout the day.
8. Have a social life
People who maintain friendships and social life have been shown to have a lower risk of developing heart disease. Did you know that laughing lowers stress and increases HDL, the healthy cholesterol? As an added benefit, laughter is a natural anti-inflammatory. So, go out with friends and spend some quality time laughing for a healthy heart.
9. Stay well-rested
Sleep is a necessary time for the body and mind to heal and refresh itself. Sleep deprivation makes us crave sugars, starches, and unhealthy carbs. So, for a healthy heart, you need to make sure that you having better sleep at night.
10. Take a break
Give your lungs a break and head out to the country for a walk or a bike ride. It’s healthy, it’s exercise, and it’s relaxing. This will relax your body and mind as well as your heart health.
Also, take a short stretch break every hour or so rather than sitting for eight hours behind your desk, staring at the computer.
Making changes to your lifestyle will drastically decrease your risks of developing cardiovascular disease. At the center of your changes, though, will always be a healthy heart diet full of fruit, fish and fiber and a good exercise plan of low to moderate intensity moves.
Can you keep your heart strong? Yes! you can because your heart is the muscle and same as bicep you, the more you engage your heart it gets stronger. Follow above the bright freak ways to keep your heart healthy and strong.