Keeping your heart healthy and strong with effective preventive measures is the simplest and most mindful strategy to improve your life quality, increase your lifespan and safeguard yourself from debilitating heart diseases. We’ve compiled a list of simple and easy lifestyle changes to help you achieve a healthy and strong heart.
Amongst the many lifestyle changes that you can make to protect your heart and the health of your blood vessels, quitting smoking is by far the most meaningful and beneficial of all these changes. You see, avoiding tobacco has countless benefits, and smoking has emerged as one of the leading risk factors that trigger heart ailments. Unlike most risk factors, however, smoking is entirely controllable and avoidable.
If you have a habit of smoking or using other tobacco-based products, it is highly advisable to stop. Many heart health organizations, including the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the American Heart Association (AHA) amongst others, have encouraged smokers to quit. It can make a massive difference to the health of your heart and your overall bodily growth and strength.
Eliminate Belly Fat
Obesity, particularly excessive belly fat, has been widely linked with increased blood pressure levels, cholesterol levels and the increase presence of damaging blood lipid levels, which are all risk factors of heart ailments. If you have unwanted fats in your midriff or belly, it is important to take necessary measures to slim down your waist. You don’t have to do much, just focus on reducing your calorie consumption and make a regular exercise regime to burn down what you consume.
Try the DASH Diet
The Dash diet, also known as the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, is an extremely healthy dietary chart for people struggling with heart diseases, and those who want to prevent them and take strong measures to fortify their heart and cardiovascular health. Basically, this diet aids in reducing your blood pressure levels, cholesterol levels, and it helps you get rid of excessive fat to lose weight and have a healthy body.
Typically, a DASH diet focuses on consuming more fruits, vegetables, poultry, fish, low-fat dairy products, and whole-grain foods so you can load up your body with all the essential heart-healthy minerals and nutrients.
It involves the reduction of total fat, saturated fat, trans fat and cholesterol content from your diet, and this basically means that you must eliminate red meat, packaged foods and sweets, sweetened drinks and frozen meals from your diet.
Most importantly, a DASH diet focuses on the reduction of sodium intake, so be sure to cut down on salt as much as you can. Reducing your daily consumption of salt will help you reduce the quantity of fluids your body retains within, and this will naturally bring about a marked reduction in your blood pressure levels, leaving your heart healthy and robust. It is important to limit your daily consumption of salt to no more than 1500 milligrams a day.
Keep your Hands Busy
It is important to help your mind unwind and relax by doing something creative with your hands. Heart specialists always encourage patients and those seeking to prevent heart ailments to engage in activities such as painting, crocheting, knitting, sewing and other crafts that promote stress relief and allow your mind to unwind. You can always take up other hobbies and habits that you like to beat stress and unwind, such as writing, wood work, cooking, baking and even scrapbooking.
Heaps of Fibre
A fibre-rich diet is an antidote to a great many ailments because of its anti-inflammatory powers. Beans, whole grains and other fibre-rich fruits and vegetables that give your heart a powerful boost of energy, and if you pair them up with your favorite foods, you can enjoy a guilt-free meal filled with nutrients. Research reveals that if your daily diet is packed with soluble fiber, you can cut down your blood pressure levels, along with reducing your levels of low-density lipoprotein, also known as the notorious bad cholesterol. We strongly urge you to add oats, barley, quinoa, beans, apples and avocados amongst other sources of soluble fiber to your daily diet.
Dancing is the healthiest workout for your heart as it will promote movement across all your body parts, allowing your heart to be truly invigorated. Whether you adore salsa, rumba, or the rowdy beats of rumba, dancing is truly the best way to get both, fun and physical activity. All kinds of aerobic exercises and dance moves aid in increasing the heart rate and pumping up your lungs, which speeds up the flow of oxygenated blood received by your heart. Moreover, dancing allows you to easily burn off more than 200 calories and more within an hour.
Eat Healthy Fats Avoid Trans Fats
Most fats get a bad name because of the overconsumption of trans and saturated fats, and therefore, it is important to understand which fats we need and which we don’t. Our diet consists of polyunsaturated fats, saturated and unsaturated fats. And the only fat we do not need in our daily diet is trans fat, which is one of the leading causes of heart diseases and heart strokes when consumed regularly.
Basically, trans fat damages the heart by clogging up the arteries and increasing the LDL or bad cholesterol levels to an alarming extent. Moreover, it reduces your HDL or good cholesterol levels, which further damages the heart. By eliminating trans fat from your life, you can enhance the blood flow received by your heart and all other bod organs. In case you are wondering, trans fats are all those packaged and manufactured fats that we devour in the form of packaged foods, snacks, fast food, fried foods, margarines, frozen foods, store-bought baked goods and other foods that have artificial flavor enhances and preservatives.
Be sure to read the labels of all the products you bring home during your grocery trips and focus on consuming more healthy fats by adding avocados, olive oil, fish and other mindful foods to your daily diet.