Did you know that even if heart disease runs in your family, you can cut your personal risk dramatically? A heart healthy lifestyle, eating the right foods, exercising regularly and drinking lots of water, all of these components lead to a healthy heart and a lower risk of heart attack and cardiac illness. Practice the following top 5 tips for a healthy heart and you benefit from the overall body health and fitness that a healthy cardiovascular system delivers.
Enjoy a heart healthy diet
Wild caught salmon, sardines and tuna are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Garlic keeps your blood vessels from being constricted, allowing your blood to flow properly. Brown rice, black beans and kidney beans, oatmeal and other high-fiber foods regulate a healthy cardiovascular system, and lower your chances of suffering a heart attack and developing heart disease.
Almonds, kale, oranges, blueberry and an occasional glass of red wine all offer heart healthy benefits. Steer clear of processed foods, sugar, salt and white flour, get more plant-based foods into your diet, and your risk of mild or significant heart problems and afflictions is dramatically lowered.
Cut back drastically on your salt intake
Salt is not needed in your diet, and is directly linked to high blood pressure and coronary heart disease when you eat too much of it. This means cutting back on processed foods, many of which have a high salt content. Try using spices and herb blends!
Exercise frequently, but do not overdo it
New research shows that strenuous exercise of more than 3 hours a week can actually have a negative health impact. The American Heart Association, Mayo Clinic and other respected global health institutions recommend 30 minute sessions of moderate to intense physical activity no more than 5 times a week. This includes “exercises” as simple as taking a brisk walk or jog, cutting your grass with a push mower, enjoying Pilates, yoga or some simple bodyweight exercises.
Stop smoking today
Just 20 minutes after your last cigarette, your heart rate begins to return to normal. Only 2 hours after you quit, your blood pressure and heart rate have returned to naturally healthy levels. And only 12 hours after quitting, your blood oxygen levels are normal once again. The negative effects of smoking on your heart and lungs are well known. Stop smoking now and you will begin to experience the heart healthy benefits of kicking the habit in his little as 20 minutes. I’m working on this myself.
The occasional beer, a glass of wine or alcoholic drink is not unhealthy. But when you overdo it, you can cause short and long-term damage to your heart muscles, suffer unhealthy weight gain and raise your risks of having a heart attack. Enjoying no more than 1 or 2 adult beverages 2 or 3 times a week is a smart rule to follow.
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