Protecting and improving your cardiovascular health is something you should seriously take into consideration. Heart disease is one of the leading death-causing diseases worldwide. Therefore, you need to change your lifestyle choices in order to improve your cardiovascular health. Whether you are suffering from a cardiovascular illness or not, here are the top 10 lifestyle hacks that can protect and improve your heart:
1. Be active
As much as possible, spend at least 30 minutes a day doing something that keeps your body active and moving. You could jog around your neighbourhood or enrol in Zumba classes as your way of exercising. Regular exercise not only helps in losing weight but also to protect your heart. Obesity could lead to cardiovascular illness and one way to combat it is exercising regularly in order to lower your blood pressure and promote good blood flow throughout your body.
In case you have no idea where to start an active lifestyle, you could ask a friend to accompany you to the gym or search for local exercise programs in your area and get moving.
2. Quit smoking
You must have heard about the various negative health consequences linked to smoking cigarettes, cardiovascular diseases being one of them. Smoking will increase your risk of having cardiovascular diseases up to 4 times because it will build up plaques and harden your arteries, causing your heart to malfunction.
If you happen to smoke, there are various ways that you could try in order to stop the bad habit. Try smoking cessation aids or counselling. It may take some time and it can be quite hard but with persistence, you can improve your cardiovascular health significantly with this lifechanging decision. Many people have done it, and so can you.
3. Reduce stress
If you can’t completely free yourself from stress at least try to manage it through meditation, regular exercise and joining various spiritual practices. Learn to breathe and relax once in a while. Find a quiet place where you cannot be disturbed and have some time to self-talk. This is highly advisable especially for people who have heart diseases because it reduces the rate of having a stroke for about 50%. For youngsters, reducing stress greatly decreases the possibility of hypertension.
To put it simply, build an environment where you can be away from stress and all the problems of the world.
4. Maintain your weight
As what we have mentioned above, it is important that you practice regular exercise in order to maintain your weight. Being overweight or underweight is one of the factors that hugely contributes to having heart diseases. The best thing that you can do is to achieve your recommended weight range and maintain it with the right diet and the regular amounts of exercise.
5. Eat right
If you don’t want to gain weight, then watch the food on your plate and begin to eat right. As much as possible, always look for foods that are rich in nutrients but low in calories such as seafood, fruits and vegetables and whole grains. Minimize eating processed foods with preservatives because it increases the level of bad cholesterol in your body. You can experiment with different recipes in order to add color to your menu.
6. Do your health check-up regularly
You need to have a general health check-up every once in a while in order to determine if you have illness that you do not know about. There are some people who have high blood pressure and they are not even aware about it.
High blood pressure could lead to cardiovascular diseases because it damages the organs and arteries in your heart. You can manage it by talking to your doctor and coming up with a treatment plan in order to improve the condition of your heart.
A simple step to start being on top of your heart health with regular monitoring of your blood pressure at home.
7. Manage food cravings
One of the leading factors of gaining weight is craving for food just to fill the emotional rather than the physical needs. Make sure that you know how to manage your food cravings by looking for nutritious substitutes for comfort food like chips and cookies. For instance if you are craving for an ice cream, buy yourself a low-fat yoghurt in order to fill your needs without burdening your body.
8. Always follow the treatment plan
If your doctor advises you not to eat certain foods, learn to discipline yourself and follow the plan. If you tend not to follow it, the plan is useless and you’ll be putting yourself in greater risks for cardiovascular diseases. If you have been diagnosed with a cardiovascular illness, changing your lifestyle choices according to the plan will improve your cardiovascular health.
9. Know your family’s health history
Some diseases and conditions can be inherited so knowing your family’s health history will inform you of the potential risks that you have for cardiovascular diseases. For instance, if your mother died because of heart failure, that will increase the chance of you have the same problem too if you continue to neglect it. Talk to your relatives or family and get to know about the medical history of your family line.
10. Get educated on cardiovascular health
You cannot start changing your lifestyle choices in an attempt to improve your cardiovascular health without first educating yourself. Make sure that you know everything that you need to know about maintaining improved cardiovascular health, the risk factors and diseases associated with your heart and the range of exercises that you can choose from.
Equipping yourself with enough knowledge is a great start in keeping you and your heart healthy.
Maintaining a better cardiovascular health is never easy. There are lots of wise lifestyle choices that you needed to make in order to improve your cardiovascular health. But t’s all worth the effort if you can age gracefully without having to suffer from the consequence of an unhealthy heart. Start today and have a bright future tomorrow!