Stop smoking — no ifs, ands, or butts
There are many steps you can take to help protect your health and blood vessels. Avoiding tobacco is one of the best.
Focus on the middle
That is, focus on your middle. Research in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology has linked excess belly fat to higher blood pressure and unhealthy blood lipid levels. If you’re carrying extra fat around your middle, it’s time to slim down. Eating fewer calories and exercising more can make a big difference.
Eating a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids can also help ward off heart disease. Many fish, such as salmon, tuna, sardines, and herring, are rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Try to eat fish at least twice a week, suggests the AHA. If you’re concerned about mercury or other contaminants in fish, you may be happy to learn that its heart-healthy benefits tend to outweigh the risks for most people.
Stretch it out
Yoga or any exercise can help you improve your balance, flexibility, and strength. It can help you relax and relieve stress. As if that’s not enough, yoga also has potential to improve heart health.
Processed and restaurant-prepared foods tend to be especially high in salt. So think twice before filling up on your favorite fast-food fix. Consider using a salt substitute, if you have high blood pressure or heart failure.
Move it, move it, move it
No matter how much you weigh, sitting for long periods of time could shorten your lifespan. Couch potato and desk jockey lifestyles seem to have an unhealthy effect on blood fats and blood sugar. If you work at a desk, remember to take regular breaks to move around. Go for a stroll on your lunch break, and enjoy regular exercise in your leisure time.
Know your numbers
Keeping your blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol, and triglycerides in check is important for good heart health. Learn the optimal levels for your sex and age group. Take steps to reach and maintain those levels. And remember to schedule regular check-ups with your doctor. If you want to make your doctor happy, keep good records of your vitals or lab numbers, and bring them to your appointments.
Kick your housework up a notch
Vacuuming or mopping the floors may not be as invigorating as a Body Slam or Zumba class. But these activities and other household chores do get you moving. They can give your heart a little workout, while burning calories too.
Almonds, walnuts, pecans, and other tree nuts deliver a powerful punch of heart-healthy fats, protein, and fiber. Including them in your diet can help lower your risk of cardiovascular disease. Remember to keep the serving size small. While nuts are full of healthy stuff, they’re also high in calories.
Cut the fat
Slicing your saturated fat intake to no more than 7 percent of your daily calories can cut your risk of heart disease. If you don’t normally read nutrition labels, considering starting today. Take stock of what you’re eating and avoid foods that are high in saturated fat.
Make time for breakfast
The first meal of the day is an important one. Eating a nutritious breakfast every day can help you maintain a healthy diet and weight.
Take the stairs
Exercise is essential for good heart health, so why not sneak it in at every opportunity? Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Park on the far side of the parking lot. Walk to a colleague’s desk to talk, instead of emailing them. Play with your dog or kids at the park, instead of just watching them. Every little bit adds up to better fitness.
Walk it off
The next time you feel overwhelmed, exasperated, or angry, take a stroll. Even a five-minute walk can help clear your head and lower your stress levels, which is good for your health. Taking a half-hour walk every day is even better for your physical and mental health.
Pump some iron
Aerobic fitness is key to keeping your heart healthy, but it’s not the only type of exercise you should do. It’s also important to include regular strength training sessions in your schedule. The more muscle mass you build, the more calories you burn. That can help you maintain a heart-healthy weight and fitness level.
Find your happy place
A sunny outlook may be good for your heart, as well as your mood. Chronic stress, anxiety, and anger can raise your risk of heart disease and stroke. Maintaining a positive outlook on life may help you stay healthier for longer.
(Compiled by Marketing Team from Net sources)