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6 Simple Tips for a Healthy Heart

Did you know that heart disease is the leading cause of death and disability in the United States?

While you can’t control certain risk factors for heart disease, such as your age and your family history, there’s still plenty you can do to keep your heart healthy.

So you’ll find our top six favorite habits and tips in this guide.

6 Simple Tips To Keep Your Heart Healthy

It’s easy to incorporate all these habits into your daily routine:

1. Make Eating Healthy a Priority with a Heart Health Diet

What you eat affects everything from how you feel and perform in the moment to your overall health in the long run. So the best way to protect your heart is to fuel your body with heart healthy foods, including:

  • Leafy greens
  • Tomatoes 
  • Avocados
  • Fatty fish (such as salmon, tuna, mackerel, etc.)
  • Olive oil, avocado oil, and coconut oil
  • Seeds (such as chia, flax, and hemp)
  • Nuts (such as almonds, walnuts, and cashews) 
  • Berries
  • Dark chocolate

These foods are all packed with vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, and other vital nutrients that help keep your heart pumping strong.Remember, eating healthy is easy when you approach your diet with a whole-foods mindset.

So skip the processed junk food masquerading as health food and only grab options containing high-quality ingredients made from real food sources

2. Stay Physically Active

Being active not only helps your heart, it also decreases risk factors for developing heart disease like obesity and type 2 diabetes (T2D). Scheduling a sweat sesh is essential if you work a desk job or computer gig where you’re sitting for eight hours a day.

Exercising improves your cholesterol profile by boosting the good (HDL) while lowering the bad (triglycerides). And it reduces blood sugar levels by helping your body process excess sugar instead of leaving it lurking around.

To kickstart your fitness routine, aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise five times per week, or two to three vigorous training sessions of 45 minutes. 

Adding 10-minute walking breaks throughout your day also gives your heart health a boost and helps decrease your risk of heart disease.

3. Get Your Stress Levels Under Control

Sky-high stress and anger levels may cause high blood pressure and contribute to heart disease. These can then lead to a heart attack or stroke if not properly managed.

Stop self-medicating with alcohol, smoking, and overeating when you’re stressed. These substances and behaviors all negatively impact your heart health.

Instead, do the adult thing and start learning how to manage your stress levels and cope with unfortunate circumstances.

Consider speaking with a local therapist, and begin practicing stress-reducing activities such as yoga, meditation, journaling, exercising, and walking in nature.

4. Improve Your Nighttime Routine for Better Quality Sleep 

Don’t underestimate the power of sleep -- it’s your body’s way of repairing the damage it suffers during the day and recharging for the next.

Skimp on high-quality sleep, and you’ll end up overworking your heart, brain, and other organs. Then they’ll be less efficient at their jobs during the day and leave you vulnerable to heart disease, cancer, and other serious conditions.

Shoot for seven to nine hours of quality sleep each night, and follow these tips to upgrade your sleep routine to help you do so.

5. Get To and Maintain a Healthy Weight

Any extra bit of weight on your frame stresses your joints and your heart, especially if you tend to gain weight around your midsection.

This type of fat may be visceral fat, which wraps around your organs and puts added strain on them. It also raises your risk factors for heart disease, T2D, and stroke.

Take the steps now to reach and maintain a healthy weight that doesn’t put your heart in jeopardy.

Do this and you’ll also decrease your risks of developing clogged arteries, high blood pressure, breathing problems, and certain cancers.

6. Quit Smoking (and Vaping!)

When it comes to your heart, nicotine may be the worst. 

Nicotine quickens your heart rate and the flow of blood to your heart. It also raises blood pressure. And it narrows your arteries (or the vessels that carry blood).

Smoking and vaping both increase your risk of developing heart disease and having a heart attack. Two giant reasons to quit right now.

If you’re struggling to quit smoking on your own, consider professional help so you can use a strategy that’s proven to work.

Show Your Ticker Some Love By Getting Heart Healthy Today

Despite the grim statistics on heart disease, you can make real progress in prevention with these simple tips.

Clean up your diet, get active and out in nature to reduce both weight and stress, and stick to an adult bedtime already!

When you show your heart some love and attention, it may return the favor by giving you a long and healthy life. 

Which strategy are you trying today? We’d love to hear about it!

 

 

Author: Devan Ciccarelli 
Email: devan@behappynothangry.com
Instagram/Facebook Group: @behappynothangry/Be Happy Not Hangry
Website: www.behappynothangry.com

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