Keeping your heart healthy is one of the most important things we should do. You may be surprised at the simple things that have an effect on your heart health - here are 4 ways you can start taking better care of your heart today!
Sleep your way to a healthy heart!
Regardless of age, weight, and even smoking, getting less than 6 hours sleep at night puts a person at risk of cardiovascular problems! Regularly getting less than 6 hours a night may make you twice as likely to suffer from a stroke or heart attack.
Getting a good night’s sleep isn’t always seen as a priority, but sleep is vital for the body to recharge and restore itself, reducing stress on the heart and giving it time to recover.
Being physically inactive for long periods of time can lead to fatty buildup in the arteries, which in turn can increase the risk of heart attack or stroke. Like all muscles, the heart needs to be exercised in order to work properly.
You don’t necessarily need to join a gym in order to increase your physical activity - as long
as you’re moving! There are plenty of opportunities in daily life, such as taking the stairs, doing some cleaning or gardening, walking somewhere, or doing some stretches while watching TV.
Eat a healthy and balanced diet!
It goes without saying that diet has a huge impact on your physical health - including your heart. We should aim for a balanced diet, trying to get the nutrients we need while being wary of foods that can negatively impact our body.
Eating more fruit and veg, and avoiding too many processed, sugary, and fatty foods is a good start. Try to introduce as much variety of fruit and vegetables as possible, eating at least 5 portions a day! It’s also important to be careful of our salt and alcohol intake in order to maintain our heart health.
Less stress, more fun!
Laughing helps to decrease stress hormones, reduce artery inflammation, and increase good cholesterol!
When you laugh, your heart rate increases, and you take deeper breaths, meaning that
more oxygenated blood is circulated through your body.
This improves your vascular function and reduces the risk of heart disease. It also causes your body to relax and lowers blood pressure.
So watching a funny movie, spending time with friends and family, and generally keeping a good sense of humour can help to prevent heart problems, and can improve your overall health.