How To Get Heart Healthy
Heart disease is one of the biggest killers there is worldwide, and it’s the number one killer of women in the USA. Luckily there are a few things you can do to make sure that your risks of getting heart disease are as low as possible. Here are a few lifestyle changes you can make to ensure that you’re as healthy as you possibly can be…
Quitting smoking is an excellent way to make sure that your heart gets a lot healthier very quickly – although of course you should be aware that giving up smoking can be extremely tough, especially if you’ve been doing it for a long time. Even if you’re just a casual smoker who picks up a cigarette at a party, it can be rough to get out of that habit. There are a few ways that you can quit smoking – nicotine patches and gum can work excellently, but if you have an emotional connection to cigarettes that can sometimes be harder to kick than the physical addiction. If that’s the case for you then it’s important to change up your routine. If you usually have a cigarette first thing in the morning, replace it with something else that you enjoy like a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice or even a square of dark chocolate to get you started in your day. You could also keep a fund of the money you would have spent on cigarettes so that you can splash out on something after your first full month of not smoking and treat yourself.
Start Drinking Less Alcohol
The occasional glass of red wine can actually be good for you, but if you drink to excess then it’s time to cut that out. Those glasses of wine or bottles of beer or gin and tonics that you have after work to relax after a busy day are bad for your heart and a huge waste of calories, so it’s time to cut them out. If you’re more of a social drinker, try going out with friends who drink a little less, or changing the time of day that you meet up with your friends and social circle – you’re a lot less likely to break out the cocktails over lunch than you are at a bar in the evenings, after all.
Eat A Cleaner Diet
Eating a cleaner diet doesn’t entail cutting out all carbohydrates and sugar, no matter what the health and lifestyle gurus might be telling you. Remember that you have to keep it realistic – you probably won’t end up cutting out white pasta altogether, but it is a good idea to start eating brown bread, rice and pasta, and sticking to fruits and vegetables instead of pre-prepared food. Start to make your own sauces instead of buying them as your own will be a lot lower in salts and sugars, and make sure that you add plenty of leafy greens to your diet. Not only do they have a lot of nutrients and vitamins but they’re also high in fibre, which is incredibly important for a healthy heart. You could also try eating more bran, oats and wholegrain cereals to make sure that you get plenty of fibre in your diet.
Cut Out Saturated Fat
Make sure that you read the labels of the food you’re buying to check out how much saturated fat is in them. A lot of pre-packaged and pre-prepared food will contain a lot more saturated fat than you might realize, and you need to ensure that fat doesn’t exceed more than 30% of your calorie intake each day. More to the point, you need to make sure that the fat that you’re eating is monounsaturated (from foods like avocado, nuts and olive oil) and polyunsaturated (which you can find in salmon and walnuts). You should also try to avoid trans fats when you can – again, make sure that you read all the labels to find out what exactly is in the food that you’re buying. This will help to lower your cholesterol, which is a big cause of heart disease. Although there are plenty of medical treatments that can improve your heart health, it’s better to prevent them being necessary altogether as some treatments simply aren’t all that reliable – read at TruLaw.com/ivc-filter/ for an example of a treatment that simply isn’t working as well as it should.
Start To Exercise More
Exercising is absolutely key to getting healthy in every way. Make sure that you’re as active as you possibly can be, from making sure that you walk more often (ditch that car and leave it at home!) to starting up a more regular exercise routine. Going to the gym a couple of times a week will help you a lot – if you’re not sure where to start, you could always hire a personal trainer who will help you work on the parts of your body that you want to improve and devise an exercise routine that helps you. If you don’t think you’re the sort of person who will enjoy the gym, you could always go for a class like yoga, pilates, martial arts or zumba, or you could always start running using a program like Couch To 5K – just make sure that you buy supportive running shoes so that your ankles, shins and knees don’t get damaged, because running can be rough on the joints. If you have sore joints or arthritis, or you have a heavier build, you could always try swimming as the water will support your body and make sure that you don’t get too sore.
Lower Your Stress Levels
Finally, it’s time to lower your stress levels. A lot of people who have heart disease have high blood pressure, which is often partly caused by stress. If you’ve been working hard for a long time then remember it’s totally okay to cut back and to relax every once in a while. Take all the vacation days that you’re entitled to, and spend plenty of time with your friends, family, and other loved ones. Not only will this decrease your stress levels but it will also make you a whole lot happier. The most important thing in the world is to value each day that you have and to really make the most of your time on this earth.