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5 Everyday Habits to Help Keep your Heart Healthy

By: Lola Frailey Thursday February 10, 2022 comments Tags: heart health, noni for hearth health, healthy living, healthy eating

5 Everyday Habits to Help Keep you Heart Healthy

Believe it or not, heart disease can happen at any age and is the number one killer worldwide. Good news is heart disease is largely preventable by making changes to your lifestyle and managing your risk factors. 

Here are 5 healthy habits to incorporate into your daily routine -they will not only improve your overall well being but will help you support a heart healthy lifestyle. 

1 Eat a Healthy Diet

A healthy diet can help protect the heart, improve blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.

Heart healthy eating includes eating more:

  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Beans and legumes
  • Whole grains
  • Low-fat dairy products
  • Healthy fats

And eating less:

  • Salt
  • Sugar 
  • Alcohol
  • Processed carbohydrates
  • Saturated fat (found in red meat and full-fat dairy products)
  • Trans fat (found in fried fast food, chips, baked goods)

Start with making small changes to your food choices. Identify processed foods that you consume frequently and swap with a healthier alternative. 

Processed foods can include chips, candy, sodas, condiments, deli meats, baking mixes, fast food and pre-made frozen meals. While processed foods may be convenient they not only lack vital nutrients but also contain unhealthy amounts of added sugar, salt, oil and additives. Healthy food swaps here

The more you can fill your plate with wholesome fruits, vegetables, grains, healthy protein and fat the more your heart and health will thank you. 

One such whole raw food is Noni Fruit Leather. Made with 100% organic raw noni pulp which is packed with more than 165 beneficial compounds including natural antioxidants, soluble and insoluble fiber, essential fatty acids, and countless other vitamins and minerals. Learn more here

One way to create healthier eating habits is to get to know the nutritional facts label on our foods. Click here for tips on reading food and drink labels

2 Get Moving: Make Daily Exercise Normal

Your heart is a muscle and just like your arm, leg or ab muscles, it needs to be exercised consistently in order to stay strong.  

Physical exercise not only can lower the risk of heart disease but it also can reduce the chances of developing other conditions that can put a strain on the heart.

Most adults should aim for 30 to 60 minutes of activity daily. It’s helpful to find an activity that you enjoy as this will keep you committed to exercise for the long term.

Aerobic exercise can include: 

  • Walking
  • Jogging
  • Swimming
  • Playing tennis
  • Cycling
  • Weight training
  • Pilates
  • Tai chi
  • Yoga
  • Dancing

While you don’t have to exercise strenuously to receive the health benefits, you will see greater benefits by increasing the intensity, frequency and duration of your physical exercise.  

If you have not been active for a while, it’s important to start slow and build upon your activity level. Don’t get discouraged if you can’t initially meet the daily recommended exercise guidelines. Even just five minutes of moving can help. Activities such as chores around the house, gardening, taking the stairs and walking the dog all count toward your daily activity total. 

3 Get Good Quality Sleep

Good quality sleep is an essential part of helping keep your heart healthy. Just like your body needs rest, so does your heart. Most people need between 6 to 8 hours of sleep each day. 

Too little sleep can cause disruptions in the biological process and underlying health condition, such as high blood pressure and inflammation.

Having a consistent sleep schedule can help you make sleep a priority. Many have found benefit by going to bed and waking up at the same times each day. Strive to get between 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night. Click here for tips on improving your sleep

4 Quit Smoking and Using Tobacco. Avoid Secondhand Smoke

To quit smoking can be tough but it’s important as smoking or using smokeless tobacco is linked to heart disease. 

The chemicals in tobacco can damage the heart and blood vessels. The smoke from a cigarette reduces the oxygen in the blood, which in turn increases blood pressure and heart rate as the heart then has to work even harder to supply sufficient oxygen to the body and brain.

Even if you’re not a smoker you should still avoid secondhand smoke. According to the CDC secondhand smoke causes nearly 34,000 premature deaths from heart disease each year among adults who do not smoke. Those who do not smoke but are exposed to secondhand smoke at work or home, experience a 25-30% increase in their risk of developing heart disease. 

There’s good news for those who smoke or use tobacco - the health benefits of quitting happen very quickly after your last smoke or chew. After just one day without tobacco the risk of heart disease starts to drop and after a year the risk of heart disease drops to about half that of a smoker. 

5 Manage Stress

Stress is a normal part of life. Stress can come from physical causes like illness or lack of sleep or from emotional causes like financial worry or family relationships. Everyday life or work obligations can also cause  stress.

Your body releases the hormone cortisol in response to stress which protects you however when the response becomes constant this can cause harm. Research studies show that having elevated levels of cortisol from long term stress can actually increase blood pressure, blood sugar, blood cholesterol and triglycerides. All of these are common risk factors for heart disease. 

Constant stress can also promote the buildup of plaque deposits in the arteries. Long term stress also can end up affecting how the blood clots making blood stickier which increases the risk of stroke. Even minor stress levels can trigger poor blood and oxygen flow to the heart. 

Stress can also have a negative impact on health in that many of us have a tendency to cope with stress in unhealthy ways like overeating, drinking and smoking. 

Finding alternative ways to manage stress in our daily lives is important. This could be in the form of physical activity, relaxation exercises, aromatherapy, mediation or even spending time with your beloved pet. Simple ways to stress less

Do your health and heart a favor and let these habits support your well being and help you live a more heart healthy lifestyle.

 

Sources:

https://health.clevelandclinic.org/5-things-to-do-every-day-to-keep-your-heart-healthy/
https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/heart-disease/in-depth/heart-disease-prevention/art-20046502
https://www.ucihealth.org/blog/2017/02/how-to-strengthen-heart

Lola Frailey

About the Author: Lola Frailey



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