Your heart beats between 60 and 100 times every minute, or up to 144,000 times each day, establishing the beat of your existence. But despite its obvious significance, we frequently forget to take care of this wonderful life-sustaining organ. The unfortunate truth is that cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in America. The good news is that you may enhance your heart health by taking a number of actions. Learn these 5 heart-healthy practices today to keep yourself in top shape.
Keep your blood pressure in check
Because high blood pressure can result in atherosclerosis, or the accumulation of plaque in your arteries, which may eventually obstruct blood flow, high blood pressure raises your chance of having a heart attack.
Indicators of high blood pressure are not visible on the outside. thus have it examined at least twice every two years. One abnormally high reading need not be concerning, but if your tests frequently register above 120/80, your doctor may want to perform additional checks.
If blood pressure does start to rise, you can help bring it down by managing your stress levels, eating well, exercising, avoiding excess sodium consumption, and abstaining from alcohol. Ask your doctor for advice on how to effectively control your blood pressure and what treatments they suggest.
Control triglycerides and cholesterol
Ask your doctor to do a fasting lipoprotein profile every 4 to 6 years. Your levels of triglycerides, good cholesterol (HDL), and bad cholesterol (LDL) will all be determined by this test (body fat).
The American Heart Association states that “atherosclerosis is associated with a high triglyceride level paired with low HDL cholesterol or high LDL cholesterol.”
You may need medicine if you have high cholesterol due to a hereditary predisposition if your family has a history of heart disease. However, you can lessen your risk by staying away from meals high in saturated fat, like beef, lamb, pork, butter, and whole milk.
Fortunately, polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats may help lower your cholesterol, saving you from a bland, fat-free diet. For a happier and stronger heart, include salmon, olives, avocados, walnuts, and vegetable oils in your diet.
Maintain a suitable weight
Because it takes more effort to pump blood through your body when you are obese, your heart is put under more stress. Adipose tissue, usually referred to as fat, encourages the formation of plaque in and around your arteries, raising your risk. A program to assist you in losing the additional pounds should be considered if your Body Mass Index (BMI) is 30 or greater.
Although losing weight requires time and work, having a support system may be very beneficial. Ask your doctor for guidance on how to lose weight safely and keep it off before you start any diet.
Consistently work out
Your heart’s health can be dramatically improved by exercise. Exercise helps to alleviate stress, maintain a healthy weight, and strengthen the heart muscle. The American Heart Association advises moderate exercise for 30 minutes five days a week at the very least.
Whatever you do, as long as you’re moving and getting your heart rate up, it doesn’t matter. Try ballroom dancing, a pick-up basketball game, or swimming if you detest Zumba or running. Or go for a quick walk with your best pal.
But when you first start an exercise regimen, go lightly and build up. For tips on how to start safely, consult your doctor.
Smoking harms the inside surface of blood arteries, which results in atherosclerosis, among other negative effects. However, it’s never too late to stop smoking, regardless of how long you’ve been a smoker. The American Cancer Society claims that if you stop smoking, your blood pressure will return to normal after just 20 minutes, your lung function will improve after three months, and your risk of heart disease will be cut in half after a year. Ask your doctor for advice if you continue to smoke.