Heart disease kills millions of people every year and it is something that we should all be concerned about. The good news is that there are a number of things you can do to reduce your risk factors and on this page, we are going to share 7 simple things to do to prevent heart diseases and improve your overall health.
Eating the Right Kinds of Fats
A lot of people think that if they want to have a heart-healthy diet, they need to avoid fat like the plague. The fact of the matter is that there are bad fats and there are good fats. You want to try to remove all trans fats and saturated fats from your diet. The unhealthy fats in your diet will come from things like deep-fried foods, full-fat dairy products, and processed and prepackaged foods.
There are a number of foods that contain good fats that are actually beneficial when it comes to heart health. Foods that contain polyunsaturated fats and foods that contain omega-3 fatty acids can actually offer some protection from heart disease. Many fish and other seafood dishes are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and most nuts are a good source of polyunsaturated fats.
Get the Nutrients You Need for a Healthy Diet
In addition to avoiding unhealthy fats and eating the right kinds of fats that are beneficial for a healthy heart, there are a number of other foods that you should include in a healthy diet. Adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet is always a good idea. Fruits and vegetables are high in fiber and they are also rich in many essential vitamins and minerals. Many fresh fruits and vegetables are also a good source of antioxidants that help prevent damage from free radicals and are very important when it comes to helping your body fight off diseases.
Whole grains should also be part of a healthy diet. Whole grains are an excellent source of fiber and they contain many other healthy nutrients as well. Whole-grain foods can help regulate your blood pressure and can help improve overall heart health.
Get More Exercise
When it comes to preventing heart disease, a little exercise can go a long way. Exercise will help you control your weight, lower cholesterol, lower your blood pressure, keep your glucose levels in check and much more. All of these risk factors can be greatly improved with exercise.
If you have a gym membership that’s great. You can do circuit training where you rapidly move from one machine to another completing various exercises. This will give you the benefit of both weight training and aerobic activity because you will keep your heart rate up when moving rapidly from one exercise to the next.
You don’t have to be a professional athlete or a hard-core gym rat to benefit from exercise. Even a brisk walk a few times a week can have a positive impact on your heart health.
Learn to Manage Stress
When it comes to overall heart health, diet and exercise are very important pieces of the puzzle. However, stress is also a significant risk factor. Too much stress will cause your body to release hormones that are actually detrimental to heart health.
There are a number of different ways to manage stress. You can have a relaxing hobby, do yoga, meditate, or practice breathing techniques. Another way to help reduce stress is to make sure you’re getting plenty of sleep. Most people require at least 7 or 8 hours of sleep every night and it’s important to make sure you’re getting the sleep you need.
Correct Your Bad Habits
A lot of people enjoy salty foods but excessive sodium intake can lead to high blood pressure which will increase your odds of developing cardiovascular problems. Try some other seasonings instead of salt and be on the lookout for hidden sources of salt. Check the labels on the food you eat to make sure you are not overdoing it on sodium consumption.
Avoid drinking too much alcohol. Alcohol is another thing that can lead to high blood pressure. Drinking too much alcohol can also lead to a number of other health problems.
If you are a smoker, you should try to quit as soon as possible. Smoking is one of the worst things you can do when it comes to cardiovascular health. Most people are aware that smoking causes lung diseases like cancer and emphysema but a lot of people don’t realize the toll smoking can take on their cardiovascular system.
Smoking can increase your risk of a heart attack because it can make blood vessels more narrow because it causes them to constrict. It can also lead to arteriosclerosis or the hardening of the arteries. These are just a couple of the many problems that smoking can cause but if you quit smoking, you will start to get healthier almost immediately.
Think About Starting a Daily Aspirin Regimen
I would like to note that you should consult your physician before implementing any of the tips we are talking about, especially when it involves taking any kind of medication. However, taking an aspirin every day is recommended by many doctors to help prevent heart attacks.
Schedule Regular Screenings and Checkups
It’s a good idea to get screened for some of the more significant risk factors on a regular basis. It’s usually a good idea to have an annual checkup and when you visit the doctor you should be screened for things like blood pressure and cholesterol. Getting screened often will help you to be certain that there aren’t any problems, and if problems are detected, it’s always better to find out as early as possible so you can make the necessary lifestyle changes to correct the problem.