Do you want to increase your heart health and promote your general wellness? Doing so can increase your longevity and improve your everyday life. Here are seven tips to reduce your risk of heart disease.
1. Eat A Balanced Diet
One way to reduce your risk of heart disease is to maintain a healthy diet. The American Heart Association recommends eating two servings of fish a week, as it’s incredibly beneficial for heart health. The main benefit of eating fish is the omega-3 fatty acids. They decrease the risk of abnormal heart patterns and potential failure. Additionally, fish is high in vitamins and other nutrients that can help lower your blood pressure and reduce your risk for heart attack.
Increasing the amount of fiber and whole grains in your diet is another way to protect your heart. Be intentional about adding meals with more beans and lentils. Eat oatmeal and fruit for breakfast, and try adding nuts or seeds to your salads rather than croutons. When you make healthy eating a habit, your heart will benefit.
2. Brush Your Teeth
Ensure you brush your teeth at least two times a day and floss at least once daily to maintain proper oral hygiene. If you don’t, you run the risk of developing periodontitis, also called gum disease, which impacts more parts of your body than just your gums. Researchers have found that 90% of those with heart disease also have gum disease. Scientists think it’s highly likely that the inflammation that causes gums to swell also causes heart vessels to become inflamed.
3. Exercise Daily
Another way to reduce your risk of heart disease is to add exercise to your daily routine. The U.S. surgeon general recommends getting active for 150 minutes a week. That activity level can look however you want it to, but 30 minutes a day is a great goal to start.
The CDC highly encourages walking as an activity for anyone just beginning their fitness journey. You can also choose to incorporate two days of strength-building exercises. Consider working with resistance bands or even free weights so you don’t need to purchase an expensive gym membership. Staying active, sitting less and building muscle are proven ways to lower your blood sugar, reduce stress, maintain a healthy weight and reduce your risk for heart disease.
4. Test Your Cholesterol
Track your cholesterol to decrease your risk of heart disease. The lower your cholesterol, the better. Unless you’re aware of high levels in your family history, your doctor should order tests every four years to ensure your results are normal. The test is a simple one done by checking your blood. If your levels are too high, you can change your diet to reduce your risk for heart disease.
5. Don’t Smoke
Smoking puts you at significant risk of getting cardiovascular disease – heart disease causes one out of five smoking-related deaths. Cigarette smokers are about twice as likely to get heart disease as those who don’t. If you smoke, talk to your doctor about getting assistance to stop. They can prescribe medicines to help you quit or recommend support groups to support you through the process.
6. Check Your Blood Pressure
Ensure your doctor tests your blood pressure at your yearly checkups. Unfortunately, high blood pressure is widespread among Americans today – but it doesn’t have to be. If you’re diagnosed with hypertension or high blood pressure, your doctor will give you more information on how often you should check it.
You can improve your blood pressure by adjusting your lifestyle, like lowering sodium in your diet or reducing the amount of alcohol you drink. Your doctor can also prescribe medicine to regulate your blood pressure and lower your risk of heart disease.
7. Reduce Stress
While some stress in life is normal, high levels can be detrimental to your overall health, causing a dangerous increase in your blood pressure. Take control of your stress levels by engaging in mindfulness practices or simply taking 15 to 30 minutes a day doing something you enjoy. Whether it’s reading a book, gardening, playing music or walking your dog, you need to take time for yourself. Reduce your stress and lower your risk of heart disease.
Boost Your Heart Health
Incorporate one or two of these health tips into your life, and you’ll witness the profound impact on your overall health. Start lowering your risk of heart disease today to improve your tomorrows.