Even if you’ve got a history of heart disease in your family, there are ways to dramatically cut the risks of developing a heart condition if you take good care of your heart. The heart is an amazing organ and if you eat well, exercise and do everything right, you can avoid heart disease. But the heart wants what it wants and those French fires look so appealing… yes, it does and yes, they do, but that doesn’t mean we have to listen to it, especially when it comes to food, because we should know better. Almost a million Americans died from heart attacks and other cardiac diseases in 2013, but did you know that four out of five were preventable? Here are 10 heart health tips you should follow if you want to live a long and healthy life.
10. Do Regular Check-Ups
If you ignore a problem it will not go away! So, if you ever feel like your heart’s bothering you or you feel there might be something wrong with it, go have it checked out. If you don’t and everything’s fine, you should have regular yearly check-up just to keep everything under control. You don’t have to be sick to pay your doctor a visit.
9. Have a Pet
Aside from unconditional love, pets soothe our hearts, literally. According to studies conducted by the National Institutes of Health, pets can lower your blood pressure and the rate of dying from heart disease. They also improve hear function and put a smile on your face. When you feel loved by a pet and you love a pet, your brain releases happy hormones that help your heart and other organs.
8. Salt Be Gone!
Come on, you knew this one! There is overwhelming evidence that salt is the devil. There is a study that concluded that if every person in the United States reduced their salt intake to only half a teaspoon a day, the number of coronary heart disease would be significantly reduced. Don’t think that we’re talking about the salt you put on your salad when you at home; most of the salt we ingest comes from junk food and processed food.
7. Have an Active Sex Life
Sex will keep your heart healthy. Several studies have discovered that sexual activity will lower your blood pressure and reduce the risk of developing heart disease. So, grab your partner and have a wonderful evening under the sheets. It’s for medical reasons!
6. Laugh Every Day
We’re not kidding you, if you laugh out loud every day for at least ten minutes, then you’re taking care of your heart. A study conducted by the University of Maryland Medical Center revealed that laughter relieves the stress that causes damage to the endothelium, a tissue that helps form the inner lining of blood vessels and it also promotes their healthy function. Laughing also helps you forget about all your troubles, if only for a couple of minutes.
5. Sip Some Red Wine
To drink or not to drink? Some doctors think alcohol is a big no-no and that we shouldn’t touch it, while others thinks it’s not only OK to have a glass of wine, but it’s good for your health. To be honest, there are studies which support either side, so it’s up to you to choose what you to believe. One of the best heart health tips is to practice moderation, especially when it comes to alcohol consumption. Apparently alcohol can help reduce blood clot formation and prevent damage to your arteries. Cheers, then!
4. Stock Up on Omega-3
Omega-3 fatty acids are good for the heart. If there’s only thing that you keep in mind from this article, let that sentence be it. If you include enough of it into your diet, then you can reduce the risk of getting a heart disease by a third, studies say. If you’re wondering what foods have the most omega-3, then you should know that fish, walnuts, butternuts, flaxseed and many more. Read about the foods rich in omega-3 right here.
3. Maintain a Healthy Weight
If you are overweight, you’re not only putting your heart to do a lot of extra work, but having a large mid-section raises your blood pressure and negatively affects blood lipids. If you want to lose weight from your middle, in particular, then you should know that if you don’t combine abs with cardio exercises and a sensible diet, then you’ll never succeed.
2. Stop Smoking
Every little thing in a cigarette harms your body. The chemicals harm your blood cells, the function of your hear and even the structure of the blood vessels. By being a smoker, you raise your risk of developing atherosclerosis, a disease in which plaque builds up in your arteries, hardening and narrowing them. When plaque builds up in your heart, then it’s called coronary heart disease. We’re sorry to give you this news, but if you’re an obese smoker who doesn’t work out, then you’re not going to live for much longer and if you’d like to, then you should start taking care of yourself.
Cardio exercises aren’t called that for nothing. To understand how your heart benefits from cardio exercises, think of this: your heart is a muscle and like any muscle, to get stronger and better it needs to be worked and kept in top shape. Exercises that leave require lots of your energy are good for the heart, because they’re training your heart to pump blood better and be better at being your heart.
Are you going to follow any of our ten heart health tips? Do you have any more tips you would like to share with us? Drop us a line in the comment section below, we’d love to hear from you!