Have Heart: How to Keep Your Heart Healthy

Have Heart: How to Keep Your Heart Healthy

Our heart is the center of our cardiovascular system. It is responsible for practically everything from sending oxygen to your body and supporting your immune system. Unfortunately, heart disease remains the leading cause of death of men and women in the United States. In fact, someone in the United States has a coronary event every 25 minutes.

According to the Director of the Women’s Heart Center at the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute in Los Angeles, women in their early twenties suffer from a terminal heart disease than of breast cancer. More sad facts: one in four deaths among adult men are due to heart disease.

Adults may not realize that they are suffering from a heart attack without signs of chest pain. However, there are vital symptoms that are far more common that should not be ignored. Fatigue, nausea and sweating could indicate that a person may require medical attention and care. Those who have more risk factors like a family history of heart disease and diabetes should get screened as soon as possible.

How to Keep Heart Healthy

Eat Nutritiously

A heart-healthy diet is vital to keeping your heart healthy. Start off by eating less of nutrient-poor foods or foods that are devoid of nutritious values such as soda, sugary drinks and high-calorie fried foods. Replace frozen or fast foods with fresh vegetables and fruits. Most of us enjoy a good burger now and then, but swapping red meat once in a while for fish that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids like wild-caught salmon, albacore tuna and trout can an easy way to be heart healthy. One crucial change to make in your diet to prevent heart disease is to eat less salt and monitor your salt intake.

There is no doubt that we need fats in our diet. However, trans fat is known to increase your risk of suffering a heart attack, as it clogs the arteries. A simple way to curb this unhealthy habit is to limit the amount of saturated fat and trans fat with better fats like olive oil, avocado and peanut oils. By cutting out unhealthy fats in your diet, you can improve the blood flow in your body.

Move Your Body

Surprisingly, even if you exercise regularly, research has indicated that sitting or staying put for long periods of time could be bad for your heart. Studies have revealed there could be a 147 percent chance of increased risk of cardiovascular disease for those who spend a lot of time stting. This is an important discovery for most as a majority of people spend most of their days sitting at a desk at work. Additionally, sitting for prolonged periods like when we are traveling can raise the risk of developing a blood clot.

There are ways to ensure we move throughout the day. Parking further from the office can encourage you get enough steps in and using a standing table can help lessen the amount of time you spend sitting. Managing stress is also key to keeping heart healthy as it can put additional pressure on your health.

Maintain a Healthy Weight and a Healthy Lifestyle

Maintaining a healthy weight can reduce your risk of developing heart disease and other major health issues. A good way to achieve your healthy weight is to perform regular and moderate physical activity including jogging, running or walking. Make sure that you exercise regularly by keeping a regular schedule as it is important to move your body throughout the day and break out your sitting or “idle” time.

Monitors Cholesterol and Blood Pressure Levels

Cholesterol is a fatty substance in your blood. We need to maintain the good cholesterol in our bodies but an imbalance of cholesterol in the blood can cause a stroke or a heart attack. Monitor your cholesterol level as often as you can especially when visiting a doctor. Another important heart healthy tip is to manage your blood pressure. A high blood pressure can lead to damage in your artery walls and scar tissues due to the extra force. This would make it harder for oxygen and blood to be transported to and from your heart. Check your blood pressure every now and then if you are young and healthy. If you have suffered from high blood pressure, monitor your blood pressure regularly.


No Smoking

There is an abundant of studies that have proven smoking raises a person’s risk of developing heart disease. According to Dr. Clyde Yancy, a professor of medicine at UT Southwestern Medical Center, smoking can damage every organ in your body, including your lung and heart. Smoking cigarettes can damage your blood vessels and thickens your blood, which decreases the blood flow throughout your body.

Moreover, smoking can lower your ability to perform physical exercise and can lower your good cholesterol. What’s worse is that the American Heart Association states that exposure to tobacco smoke (that means second hand smoking) can increase our chance of suffering from terminal premature heart disease and terminal lung cancer. Simply put your foot down if you are around smokers and keep young children away from secondhand smoke.

Get Enough Sleep

Sleep is an essential puzzle piece to keeping your heart healthy. Those who don’t get enough zzz’s are at a higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease no matter your lifestyle or age. A study revealed adults in their 40’s who slept less than 6 hours a night were twice as likely to suffer from a heart attack compared to those who catches 6-8 hours of restful sleep per night. Scientists seem to agree that less than optimal sleep could lead to increased blood pressure and inflammation, which has been linked to degenerative diseases.

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