We all hear about how important it is to have a healthy heart, but do you really know how to keep yours healthy? Many people think they know the basics and the more obvious facts, but after doing some research, they realize how many silly things we do that hurt our health. Most of these things are very easy to cut out of our lives. Below is a list of some of the things you can do to help maintain a healthy heart.
Ok this isn’t a surprise. We all learned about the risks of smoking in elementary school. This is by far is the biggest and most important thing a person should do to live a healthy life. By smoking cigarettes you not only increase your risk of suffering a heart attack, but smoking also affects your appearance.
You’ll wrinkle faster, you’ll start smelling like tobacco, and your teeth will yellow. If you have trouble quitting there are always different methods that can help out. There’s the patch you can wear and electric cigarettes that help the nicotine cravings, or you could do it the Hercules way: quit cold turkey.
Be Aware of What You Eat
You should always watch what types of meals you eat. Of course when you’re young, you don’t really need to pay much attention, but as you become older this is very important. Eating healthy also reduces the risk of heart attacks. Make sure to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables; whole grain meals are good for your heart as well. Also, be sure to eat your starchy foods as well. As a general rule, you should always avoid foods high in sugar and saturated fats.
To stay healthy, your heart does require exercise. Most people’s mentality is that your body needs exercise to tone muscles and become stronger, but that’s not the only reason. Your heart needs to maintain its strength as well. The reason your heart needs exercise is so that it can maintain an active blood flow with each pump. So by exercising, you make it easier for this to happen efficiently. Try to exercise at least 30 minutes a day; it will make the difference of a lifetime.
How Much Alcohol are You Consuming?
Alcohol really affects your heart. Not only does this silent killer make your blood pressure sky-rocket, but alcohol also damages your heart muscle and makes you gain weight. It’s okay to enjoy a glass of wine or a beer here and there at social events, but remember to drink responsibly.
Watch Out For Salt
We’ve all heard our mothers say “too much salt is bad.” But did we honestly know why they said that? The reason salt is not good for your health is because it contributes to high blood pressure.
Earlier we learned that high blood pressure increases the risk of heart attacks so consuming too much salt is a big factor when it comes to heart health. Be sure to read the sodium levels on packages. You might be surprised to read that the meals you thought were very healthy actually contain a lot of salt. For example, some cereals and breads can be unexpectedly high in sodium.
Check Your Blood Pressure
It’s always good to check your blood pressure because the higher your blood pressure is, the more you’re at risk for heart attacks. If you’re in doubt about your own situation, blood pressure monitors are often sold at your local drugstore. If high blood pressure runs in your family you’ll want to monitor your own levels closely, and do all you can to keep it within the healthy range. Also, the effectiveness of plavix is often cited as for preventing the first onset of a heart attack or stroke.
Now you have a good idea of how to help your heart stay healthy it’s time to act. If you are a smoker, stop now. Take a look at what you eat, namely your salt intake, sugars, and saturated fats. Always exercise. It’s good for your body and your mind — you just can’t beat it. Don’t drink too much — its never good to do too much of a good thing. If ever you’re in doubt if you high blood pressure don’t forget about the portable high blood pressure monitors, that will read your blood pressure levels. What other lifestyle adjustments have you made to make sure you stay heart-healthy?
Jane Miller is a freelance writer who loves to write about anything from tech to mommy stuff. She is featured in many blogs as a guest writer, and can write with authority on any niche or subject.