What’s the importance of hearth healthy tips?
All the body’s organs work hard to provide us with the functionality we need to get through the day (and night). And the heart is a hard worker – getting all that blood around your body is no easy job, and requires a lot of activity. Your heart beats between about sixty and one hundred times a minute – so if you were to add up all those heartbeats over a day, a month, or even longer, the numbers are huge.
All of which means that we should be doing everything we can to show our hearts a little bit of love. A lot of the things that help keep your heart healthy are also things that are good for general health – so it’s worth taking a holistic view of wellbeing, and changing any habits that could be harmful.
So, what should we be thinking about in terms of keeping our hearts in good health and minizising the risk of heart disease? Our heart healthy tips break down into the following areas:
Exercise for your heart
This is an obvious one – but it’s only obvious because it’s so important. Inactivity increases the risk of heart disease. Being active brings with it a host of very valuable health benefits. And many of these will help your heart be healthy. Taking part in exercise can lower the amount of body fat, lower cholesterol, and help build muscle mass. And it doesn’t need to be anything too strenuous – even moderate activity like walking will help you stay healthy. Exercise is also good for the circulation and can help prevent strokes. Also, physical activity can help improve your mood due to the endorphin release that comes with exertion.
Food for thought
Eating healthy – despite some perceptions – doesn’t mean eating rabbit food or missing out. It’s largely a matter of good habits and keeping certain treats to a minimum.
A common misperception is that foods high in dietary cholesterol (such as eggs or prawns) have the worst effect on our blood cholesterol, but it’s actually foods high in saturated fat that we need to watch out for. Cakes, cream, hard cheese, and meat products such as pies and sausages are all high in saturated fat and it’s best to keep consumption of these to a minimum. The most important thing is to eat a balanced diet, making sure you’re getting your share of fruit and vegetables and aiming to replace saturated fat high foods with ones that have unsaturated fats – such as avocadoes and olive oil.
Another important thing to do is to keep your salt intake within recommended levels – this can be difficult if you eat a lot of processed foods, which often have a sizeable sodium content. If you prepare your own food it’s much easier to keep the salt amounts lower. And also to get into the habit of using it less so that your palate adjusts to less salty food and follow recommended dietary tips.
Cultivating healthy habits
So, you’ve planned out your healthy diet and ditched the pies and pastries. You’re getting exercise on a regular basis. You’re starting, hopefully, to look and feel better already. What else can you do to help keep your heart healthy?
If you smoke – think again. Smoking, along with all the other associated health risks, is one of the biggest causes of cardiovascular disease. So if you smoke, and you’re looking to get a healthier heart, then the most important thing you can do is quit smoking. There are lots of ways this can be done – including the cold turkey method, hypnosis, and nicotine replacement therapy.
Keeping your alcohol intake within the recommended levels is also advised for heart health – since going over these can result in weight gain, and while it’s possible that small amounts of alcohol (a unit or two per day) could be good for the heart, this benefit is yet unproven.
And there we have it – some steps towards a healthier heart. All of which is easily achievable and will improve your health in general, too!
About the author: Jen Jones is a health and wellbeing blogger who writes for various online publications on topics such as relaxation techniques, medical insurance, and nutrition.