It seems like more and more people are trying to find the “fountain of youth,” yet somehow forget to even take care of the most important parts of their health. A healthy heart is a great way to live longer, and better! Wondering what you can do to maintain a healthy heart? Follow these tips:
Get adequate sleep.
For most Americans, sleep might just be their favorite thing. However, 33% of adults don’t get enough sleep every night. Next time you want to stay up later than usual, remember your heart will thank you for getting 7 hours. Research has shown that people who get under 7 (and even more than 9!) hours of sleep a night have an increased risk of heart disease.
Lower your blood pressure.
Did you know that chronic high blood pressure can actually damage your artery walls and make it harder to push blood and oxygen through the body? This can make the heart have to work even harder to pump blood through your system, wearing out your heart faster. Think you may have high blood pressure? Be sure to get more exercise, eat healthier and talk to your doctor about ways to lower it!
One major reason so many Americans have heart problems is due to their sedentary lifestyle. If you want your heart to be healthy, make sure that you get up and get active. Try to keep an eye on how long you are inactive (even at work) and make sure that you get up and move around. We also recommend at least 30 minutes of exercise (break a sweat), five days a week. This does not mean that you should sit for the other 23.5 hours; make sure that you get up and move throughout the day. Being inactive can also increase your risk of blood clots (which can lead to a stroke, heart attack or even pulmonary embolism)!
Clean up your diet.
Another leading cause of heart issues in America can be attributed to diet. We eat more and more processed, sugary foods each year. Try lots of whole, plant-based foods such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds, and try to eat less processed foods such as white bread, pasta, crackers, and cookies. You should also focus on drinking more water and eliminated beverages filled with sugar such as sodas.
Do more of what you enjoy.
Stress can also be a big factor in high blood pressure and heart conditions. Make sure that you take time each day of your life to enjoy something, whether it is reading a book, painting a picture or even just hanging out with friends. This can help reduce stress levels, leading to a happier and healthier life!
Celebrate every achievement.
Making changes to your life is never easy. Make sure that you celebrate even the smallest victories in life, such as losing weight, changing your diet or even managing your stress better.