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7 Tips for a Healthy Heart
The heart is part of the circulatory system, pumping blood throughout our body. This blood carries oxygen and essential nutrients to our organs. This helps ensure our organs properly function and keep us healthy.
Do you see how much of our bodily function leads back to our heart? We often forget just how essential a healthy heart is to keeping ourselves energized throughout the day.
When it comes to heart health, there are many different factors that play a role including genetics, diet, and exercise. Having a healthy heart can help prevent cardiovascular disease, heart failure, and other health complications.
Here's a list of 7 tips for a healthy heart.
- Avoid high-cholesterol foods. It’s important to maintain healthy cholesterol levels to have a healthy heart. One way to do this is to avoid high-cholesterol foods such as baked goods, fried foods, full-fat dairy, and red meat. Too much LDL cholesterol in the blood, which is the bad cholesterol, can lead to a buildup or plaques in the arteries which can increase your chances of heart disease or a heart attack.1
- Eat healthy fats. Healthy fats found in vegetables, nuts, and fish can lower your risk of heart disease. These healthy fats help to lower LDL cholesterol and increase HDL cholesterol, the good cholesterol that absorbs LDL cholesterol and helps the body dispose of it. Omega-3 fats, which are found in foods such as salmon and chia seeds, aid in the heart’s rhythm. Try to limit the additional fats to your meals, such as dressings, sauces, and fried foods, all of which can be unhealthy for the heart.2
- Stay active. There are links between inactivity and heart disease. The American Heart Association recommends that all adults get at least 150 minutes of physical activity each week. Of course, being more active than this can benefit your health even more. Engaging in physical activity each day can help lower your risk of heart disease, strokes, high blood pressure, and cancer. It can also improve memory, bone health, and quality of life overall. If you’re just starting to get active, talk with your doctor about exercises that are safe for you or seek help from a certified trainer.3
- Try to prevent a sedentary lifestyle. A sedentary lifestyle involves a lot of sitting and very little physical activity, which can impact your heart’s health. An inactive lifestyle can cause poor blood circulation, loss of muscle strength, inflammation in the body, and a hormonal imbalance. Because of all these health concerns, inactivity can cause many chronic diseases such as heart disease. To avoid this, make sure you’re standing, walking, and being active whenever possible.4
- Don’t smoke. Smokers have an increased risk of heart disease and smoking doubles an individual’s risk for a stroke. Smoking causes an increase in blood pressure and heart rate, while reducing blood flow from the heart and damaging blood vessels. Second-hand smoke has also been found to have similar effects on the heart.5
- Get enough sleep. Sleep is critical when it comes to your health, including your heart health. Adults who sleep less than seven hours at night are more at risk for heart attacks, strokes, and heart disease.6 Sleep apnea and insomnia can lead to heart disease if not treated. Getting proper sleep allows the body’s blood pressure to drop and the heart rate to slow down, both of which help to reduce stress on the heart.7
- Reduce stress. Did you know that stress can lead to heart disease? Stress causes inflammation in the body, which can cause health issues such as high blood pressure or lower levels of HDL cholesterol. These two health complications are linked to heart disease. Stress can also lead to less sleep, poor food choices, less exercise, and ultimately affect your heart.8
Healthy Habits Lead to a Healthy Heart
Try to incorporate these tips into your daily life to maintain the best heart health possible. After all, healthy habits can help improve your heart’s health.
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Saber Healthcare is an organization dedicated to providing consultant services to long term care providers. This article is for informational purposes and is not meant to be seen as professional advice. Please consult with a medical expert before relying on the information provided.
- Beckerman, James. “Heart Disease and Lowering Cholesterol.” WebMD, webmd.com. July 2nd, 2020. Accessed January 28th, 2022. https://www.webmd.com/heart-disease/guide/heart-disease-lower-cholesterol-risk#:~:text=for%20heart%20disease.-,How%20Does%20High%20Cholesterol%20Cause%20Heart%20Disease%3F,is%20slowed%20down%20or%20blocked.
- Ericksen, Kristina. “11 Healthy Heart Tips to Help Keep the Doctor Away.” Rasmussen College, rasmussen.edu. February 6th, 2018. Accessed January 28th, 2022. https://www.rasmussen.edu/degrees/health-sciences/blog/healthy-heart-tips/.
- “American Heart Association Recommendations for Physical Activity in Adults and Kids.” American Heart Association, heart.org. April 18th, 2018. Accessed January 28th, 2022. https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/fitness/fitness-basics/aha-recs-for-physical-activity-in-adults?utm_source=redirect_heartorg&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=301#.WlPBC_mnFhE.
- “Health Risks of an Inactive Lifestyle.” National Library of Medicine, Medline Plus. Accessed January 28th, 2022. https://medlineplus.gov/healthrisksofaninactivelifestyle.html.
- “Smoking and Cardiovascular Disease.” The Johns Hopkins University, The Johns Hopkins Hospital, and Johns Hopkins Health System, hopkinsmedicine.org. Accessed January 28th, 2022. https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/smoking-and-cardiovascular-disease.
- “How Does Sleep Affect Your Heart Health?” U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. January 4th, 2021. Accessed January 28th, 2022. https://www.cdc.gov/bloodpressure/sleep.htm#:~:text=Insomnia%20is%20linked%20to%20high,especially%20earlier%20in%20the%20day.
- Suni, Eric. “How Sleep Deprivation Affects Your Heart.” OneCare Media, Sleep Foundation. December 4th, 2020. Accessed January 28th, 2022. https://www.sleepfoundation.org/sleep-deprivation/how-sleep-deprivation-affects-your-heart#:~:text=During%20the%20non%2Drapid%20eye,that%20occurs%20during%20waking%20hours.
- “Risk Factors for Heart Disease: Don’t Underestimate Stress.” The Johns Hopkins University, The Johns Hopkins Hospital, and Johns Hopkins Health System, hopkinsmedicine.org. Accessed January 28th, 2022. https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/risk-factors-for-heart-disease-dont-underestimate-stress#:~:text=Stress%20and%20Heart%20Disease%3A%20What's,in%20a%20more%20indirect%20way.