The heart is a hard-working muscle that delivers a continuous supply of oxygen and other nutrients to the brain and other vital organs, making it central to good health. When you stop taking care of your heart, you are slowly increasing your risk of cardiovascular disease. Fortunately, there are several steps you can take to make positive changes in your life that can have a significant impact on your heart health.
Consuming a healthy diet is essential for good health and nutrition. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), a healthy diet protects you against many chronic diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer.
Fats and oils help provide us with energy. However, eating too much, particularly unhealthy fats, can increase your risk of heart disease and stroke. Instead of eating saturated and trans-fat, start using unsaturated vegetable oils. Avocados are an excellent source of healthy fats you can incorporate into your diet. If you eat too much salt, you may want to cut back on the sodium. Too much salt can also increase your risk of heart disease by worsening blood pressure.
It is important to include nutrient-rich foods into your diet, including:
- A variety of fruits and vegetables
- Low-fat dairy products
- Skinless poultry and fish
- Nuts and legumes
- Whole grains
Regular physical activity has several benefits to your overall health and wellness. Similar to how exercise strengthens other muscles in the body, it helps strengthen the heart and improves circulation. Increased blood flow raises oxygen levels in the body, which helps lower the risk of heart diseases, such as high cholesterol, coronary artery disease and heart attack.
High blood pressure, being overweight or obese, and smoking are all major risk factors for heart disease. Exercise has been found to lower blood pressure, control weight gain, help people quit smoking, and ease stress.
Whether you just lost your job, have an increase in financial obligations or moving into a new home, your stress levels may be on the rise. Everyone handles and reacts to stress differently. Some people choose to overeat, while others drink too much alcohol or smoke cigarettes to manage their chronic stress, all of which can increase your risk of heart disease.
Managing stress is vital for maintaining your overall health and keeping your heart healthy. There are several ways you can manage your stress, including:
- Carve out hobby time
- Get enough sleep
- Practice meditation
It should not surprise you that smoking is bad for your health. Every time you light up a cigarette and inhale the smoke, your heart rate and blood pressure increase temporarily. This puts extra stress on your heart, forcing it to work harder.
When you quit smoking, your heart rate and blood pressure drop to normal levels. According to the CDC, quitting smoking is one of the most important actions people who smoke can take to lower their risk for cardiovascular disease.
Contact Advanced Heart and Vein Center
You can count on our team at Advanced Heart and Vein Center to give you the highest quality of care you deserve and a treatment plan tailored to your specific health needs. To request an appointment, call us today at 720-772-8040.