Heart-Health Habits to Improve your Health

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We could mention several habits that can drastically improve your heart health; we all should help prevent heart disease by incorporating manageable lifestyle changes into our daily routine.

Heart condition remains the leading cause of death in American adults. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 659,041 Americans died of heart disease in 2019. As a result, medical professionals are deeply concerned about cardiovascular health in American adults.

In addition to all the often-cited lifestyle factors that increase the risk of heart disease, healthy habits and regular doctor visits decreased during the coronavirus pandemic.

Although this situation feels pretty grim, there is a silver lining; some risk factors that can lead to heart disease are preventable. Below, several experts share some simple heart-healthy habits that can improve your health.

Get Familiar With Your Cardiovascular Health Status

A critical step in combating heart disease is to be aware of your numbers, which means being aware of your cardiovascular health status. People should know their numbers; that means understanding their blood pressure, cholesterol, bad cholesterol, and glucose levels.

Medical guidelines have long stated that all Americans should know their lipid profile by the time they are 21 years old. The lipid profile is the breakdown of cholesterol in the body, both the good cholesterol, which is high-density lipoprotein and the bad cholesterol, which is low-density lipoprotein.

Bad cholesterol is the main focus in terms of risk and treatment. However, low-density lipoprotein is the most important number because it predicts the risk of heart attack and stroke. Therefore, you want your low-density lipoprotein number to be below one hundred unless you have had a previous cardiovascular problem, which should be seventy or below.

It is easier to change when you know what needs to be changed. In other words, if you know your bad cholesterol is too high, you will focus more on habits that lower low-density lipoprotein levels, such as a healthy diet

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Improve Your Nutrition

You can’t ignore diet’s role in your heart health. A deficient diet is problematic for your heart health, as it can lead to high cholesterol, hypertension, and coronary artery disease.

However, dieting doesn’t mean you have to give up entirely on foods you love just because they might be considered unhealthy. Cut back on unhealthy fats, added sugars and refined carbohydrates, and excess salt whenever you can. Increase your fiber consumption and include plenty of proper nutrients.

Eating healthy can help you control some risk factors, such as obesity and high cholesterol, that can lead to heart disease. A Mediterranean regimen, which focuses on fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins such as fish, chicken, tofu, and whole grain, is a good guideline for healthy eating.

Peanuts, almonds, walnuts, and other nuts are good for your heart; choose them as a substitute for meat in pasta and other dishes. Eat fish or different types of seafood instead of red meat once a week. It is better for your heart, brain, and waistline.

For example, you can substitute berries and plain yogurt for crackers or carrots for chips. Switching even one snack or processed food each day in favor of vegetables and fruits can improve your heart health.

Following the American Heart Association, adults should get 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity, for example, walking and dancing, or seventy-five minutes of vigorous aerobic exercise, like running, jumping, and bicycling, each week. So that equals about 20 minutes a day if you are doing moderate activity.

Most Americans do not achieve that exercise goal. When most individuals think of exercise, we jump to an all-or-nothing mentality. You can begin slow when it comes to moving your body. This recommendation doesn’t mean you should start training for a marathon.

It would help if you tried incorporating an evening walk into your routine, taking calls while walking back and forth in your room, walking to a nearby errand instead of driving, and using the stairs instead of the elevator.

It would be best to do movements you enjoy, whether it is yoga, cycling, golf, or dancing. It’s easier to stay engaged in physical activity if it’s something you want to do. Exercise should not feel like a punishment.

Get Moving

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Get A Full Night’s Rest Or Take Naps

Insufficient sleep can increase the chance of heart issues; listen to your body. Then, make sure you get enough rest, even if that means a quick nap during the day. But the most powerful thing you can do in this regard is to get seven to eight hours of sleep each night.

Set yourself up for triumph by unwinding at least 30 minutes before bedtime. It can also be helpful to make your bedroom a sleep sanctuary, which means keeping your work laptop and any other stress triggers away from your bed as much as possible.

Calm Your Brain For At Least Ten To Fifteen Minutes

Stress relief is key to keeping the heart healthy; that is easier said than done in a pandemic. Try breathing slowly and deeply for a few minutes daily; it can help you relax. Slow, deep breathing can also help lower blood pressure.

Try blocking out the news, work emails, text messages, or anything else that might increase your blood pressure. Instead, use that time to do a creative craft, read a book, call your friends, or do something that brings you a sense of pleasure and relaxation.

Set Incremental Reference Targets If Your Weight Is A Factor

Weight is not always indicative of general health, and only because you look a certain way does it not mean you are at risk or not. For example, research shows that people who are obese or overweight tend to have an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.

Nevertheless, meaningful weight reduction is not always required to see heart-healthy results. Therefore, setting an achievable goal is vital if you need to lose weight for your overall health. Even minor adjustments can have an impact on your health; losing five pounds can have a noticeable effect on your blood pressure, cholesterol, and diabetes.

Stop Smoking

Everyone should prioritize certain lifestyle habits, such as not smoking, to improve their heart health. Smoking is one of the most significant threats to heart disease, so you should take the necessary steps to kick the habit.

Smoking is not an easy habit of quitting, but it is vital to try. Quitting smoking improves a person’s health in terms of heart disease risk and also cancer and lung disease risk. Of course, better not to start smoking, but if you have already, do everything you can to stop.

Stop Heavy Alcohol Consumption

When it comes to alcohol, it is not necessary to give it up completely, but if you are a moderate to heavy drinker, cutting out a glass of wine or beer or two is a good idea.

Wash Your Hands

Washing with soap and water often throughout the day is an excellent way to protect your heart and health. Flu, pneumonia, and other infections may be rough on the heart.

Be Grateful of What you Have

Taking a moment every day to recognize the blessings in your life is one way to start tapping into other positive emotions. These have been linked to better health, longer life, and greater well-being, just as their opposites, as chronic anger, worry, and hostility contribute to high blood pressure and heart disease.

Take Your Medicine when Needed

Because of their genetics or other health problems, some individuals may not be able to reduce their risk of cardiovascular disease sufficiently with lifestyle changes. And that is fine. Some medications can help lower cholesterol and blood pressure.

People who have had a cardiovascular episode, or have a high-risk condition such as diabetes, often need to receive cholesterol-lowering therapy. Medications that improve cardiovascular health are safe and effective. But unfortunately, many resist when they hear the phrase “daily pill.”

Listening to a physician recommending medications to reduce specific cardiovascular disease risks is essential. Taking medication must be combined, however, with a healthy lifestyle. For instance, no one can put the benefits of eating right and being active into a pill; many benefits come from that.

Start Right Away Making Your Plan

No matter your age, it is never too early to start focusing on your heart health. Complications in the cardiovascular system develop over a long time; decades of unhealthy habits can be to blame.

There is evidence that atherosclerosis, the underlying disease for most heart attacks, can begin in people in their twenties. So that indicates if somebody has a heart attack in their seventies or eighties, it could be the culmination of atherosclerosis that began decades earlier.

The idea of taking care of yourself, like not smoking, being active, eating the right things, and knowing your numbers, among others, is relevant throughout our lives and before people realize it.

Start now improving your health by implementing heart-healthy habits into your life.

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At the Modern Heart and Vascular Institute, we offer state-of-the-art cardiovascular care with innovative diagnostic tools and compassionate patient care. Our priority at Modern Heart and Vascular Institute is prevention. We help patients lead healthier lives by avoiding unnecessary procedures and surgeries.

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This article does not provide medical advice. It is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you need cardiovascular care, please call us at 832-644-8930.