The heart is one of the most vital organs in the body. Although it is often associated with emotions, the health of your heart is crucial to your overall physical well-being. That is why maintaining its health is important. Having a healthy heart grants you more time with your loved ones and opportunities to experience the most out of life.
Pay attention to what you eat.
Reading the labels of the food you consume will take you a long way. Avoiding foods that are high in saturated fat and trans fat will significantly lower your chance of getting heart disease. So if you are not a fan of reading nutrition labels, better start now.
Consume healthy fats.
Not all fats are harmful to your heart. Nuts such as almonds, walnuts, and pecans are good sources of unsaturated fat. This type of fat is known to maintain cholesterol levels, help with inflammation, and stabilize heart rhythm.
The heart is a muscular organ. Its largest part is composed of a special type of muscle tissue called the cardiac muscle. And just like the other muscles in your body, your heart greatly benefits when you get your body moving. When you exercise, your heart rate increases which allows you to pump more blood which regulates your blood pressure Regular exercise routines are proven to make the heart stronger and more efficient giving you a better blood flow and decreased cholesterol level.
Monitor your heart.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), cardiovascular diseases are still the leading cause of death globally. In the Philippines, heart diseases remain the deadliest disease which constitutes 33% of the mortality rate. Moreover, symptoms of some heart conditions such as heart attack often go unnoticed and overlooked. This is why doctors often recommend a Holter monitor for patients suspected of heart ailments to monitor the heart.
But if you can’t opt for a Holter monitor, there are some devices available in the market that will help you track your heart health such as Apple watch SE (available in the Philippines). These devices can monitor your heart and track irregularities to keep you aware of your heart health.
Consider Laugh Therapy.
This might make you raise an eyebrow but laugh therapy is a method proven to improve your health. Research shows that laughing helps lower stress hormones which is one of the causes of blood clots that increases the risk of stroke. Laughing also helps the body in combating inflammation in the arteries and raises the level of high-density lipoprotein (HLD), known as good cholesterol.
Cigarettes are a big NO.
Smoking causes a lot of danger to health, especially to the heart. In fact, cigarettes are made of 600 ingredients which create more than 7000 chemicals when burned. These chemicals damage the arteries making them sticky and prone to clogging which can lead to a heart attack. Cigars also trigger irregular heart rhythms and high blood pressure.
Engage in relaxing activities.
Stress management stabilizes your mood and makes your heart healthier. Letting yourself unwind by doing entertaining yet less pressuring activities such as watching a light movie, knitting, and playing board games gives you a happier outlook. And being happy helps in lowering your blood pressure which is good for your heart.
Stick to a cardio routine that works for you.
Cardio exercises are movements that are meant to make your heart rate shoot up and keep it for a lengthened period. Through this, your heart’s capability of pumping blood increases, which stabilizes blood flow and heart rate.
Avoid too much salt.
Sodium is a known factor that increases blood pressure. A high volume of salt triggers the body to hold more water to wash the excess salt. And water adds pressure to the heart which dramatically increases blood pressure.
Decrease your alcohol intake.
In some studies, consuming a moderate amount of alcohol raises the HDL (a good fat) level which is good for your heart. However, too much of it damages the heart muscles, causes abnormal heart rhythms, and the list goes on and on.
Keep away from sweets.
Too much sugar leads to a higher calorie level which provokes weight gain. Gaining unhealthy pounds may lead to diabetes and heart disease. If you are constantly craving sweets, you can satisfy them through healthy options such as yogurt and fruits.
Include fish in your diet.
Omega-3 oils found in fish effectively reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases. It also helps in reducing inflammation in your body which makes Omega-3 fatty acids good for the overall health of the body.
Keeping your health healthy requires a lot of effort and discipline. Maintaining healthy habits and sticking to them might be hard at first, but the more you do it, the more you’ll get used to it. Focusing on your heart health today is something your future self will thank you for because we are better when stronger.