5 Essential Lifestyle Habits for a Healthy Heart

Your heart supplies blood to all of your organs, without it functioning properly, you’re going to be in trouble! Check out these key habits that help maintain a healthy heart.

1. Exercise

Exercise is the most important habit of heart healthy people. The University of Maryland Medical Center recommends a minimum of 150 minutes of exercise per week or 75 minutes of “vigorous” exercise.

 

In addition to improving the condition of your heart, UMMC states that exercise can prevent a myriad of other conditions including metabolic disorders, cancer, bone problems and depression.

Not only is it free—it’s as simple as running in place or doing sit-ups while watching TV—but it is one of the most important steps you can take to protect the health of your heart.

2. Eat Fruits and Vegetables

The Harvard School of Public health studied the eating habits of 110,000 men and women over the course of 14 years. The results? People who consumed larger amounts of fruits and vegetables were less likely to develop heart problems.

The relationship was direct. Compared to people who ate less than 1.5 servings per day, people who ate 8 or more servings hate a 30% lower chance of heart attack or stroke.

These results are astounding but many people refuse to add more fruits and vegetables to their diet. To help eat more, prepare every meal that you eat with a fruit or vegetable.

During dinner time, try to make your portion of vegetables larger than anything else on your plate. Additionally, you might want to consider replacing a few daily snacks with vegetables.

3. Reduce Sodium

Eating a diet with too much sodium can raise your blood pressure. According to the American Heart Association, 98% of Americans eat more sodium than they should[3]. In fact, the amount they eat is twice as much as they should!

The AHA recommends reducing sodium intake to less than 1,500 mg per day. That might be a tough task because many of the processed foods and restaurant foods we encounter everyday are loaded with salt and sodium.

The AHA demonstrates, however, that you have a powerful weapon to fight against too much sodium. Potassium can help your body fight against high blood pressure by relaxing blood vessel walls. If you find yourself eating too much sodium regularly, reach for a banana or other source rich in potassium.

4. Reduce Stress

A study by the State Medical Society of Wisconsin demonstrates a link between stress and hypertension. Stressful situations cause blood pressure fluctuations and force the production of hormones that constrict vascular walls. High blood pressure puts extra strain on your heart and increases the risk for heart attack and stroke.

Try to manage stress effectively. If you find yourself in stressful situations frequently, develop strategies to relax and stay calm. Your heart health depends on low levels of stress.

5. Avoid Toxins

There are many natural and unnatural toxins that your heart hates. Scientists argue that environmental tobacco smoke, carbon disulfide, and carbon monoxide are harmful heart toxins that people come in contact with everyday. Many people are forced to work in toxic environments. Sometimes, people willingly inhale toxins like nicotine or tobacco smoke.

Environmental toxins and substances like nicotine that people knowingly put in their body are recognized as leading causes of heart disease. It is important to limit the amount of time you are exposed to toxins.

Tag: Blog , Health , Healthy Heart

 
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