Did you know that heart disease stands as the leading cause of death in America? One in every four deaths can be contributed to heart diseases like coronary heart disease, heart failure, and more. That means that if you don’t want to become another statistic, the time to take action is today.
Keeping your heart healthy is one of the most important things you can do for your longevity, and it can be achieved in these four ways.
1. Avoid Trans Fats
Trans fats have long been known as a major contributor to heart disease. Trans fatty acids are mainly produced artificially, although they can also be naturally found in some dairy and meat products. Many processed foods are loaded with this artery-clogging fat, which elevates bad cholesterol levels and reduces good cholesterol levels. To protect your heart, cut out foods with trans fats like fried foods, packaged baked goods, and margarine. Replace them with healthy fats like oily fish, whole eggs, dark chocolate, avocados, and nuts. Your plate should be well-rounded and full of essential nutrients from healthy, natural sources.
2. Get Moving
The heart is a muscle, and like any other muscle in the body, it needs exercise to stay in shape. According to the American Heart Association, the right amount of exercise is at least 30 minutes a day for 5 days a week. Exercise strengthens the heart, making it more efficient and resilient. It also works to lower blood pressure, control blood sugar levels, and keep cholesterol levels in check. Plus, it prevents heart disease by relieving stress. Run, jog, bike, or play sports; just make sure to get in your 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise each day.
3. Get Plenty Of Sleep
Getting quality sleep is essential for heart health. Fail to get the right amount of sleep, and you are putting yourself at risk of developing heart disease and high blood pressure. Sleep conditions like insomnia and sleep apnea are strongly linked with cardiovascular problems as well as stroke, obesity, diabetes, and other diseases. So take care not to overwork yourself or skip out on sleep. Follow the advice of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which recommends that adults get at least seven hours of sleep each night.
4. Manage Stress
Stress is the silent killer that can lead to serious heart problems if left untreated. When long-term stress builds up, it causes blood pressure levels to soar. It can also lead you to develop unhealthy coping mechanisms like overeating, drinking, smoking, and physical inactivity, all of which can wreak severe damage on artery walls. To prevent stress from harming your heart, take steps to manage stress in your life. Identify major stressors like work or relationship problems, and seek professional help and counseling if needed. You can also start practicing relaxing strategies like mindfulness and meditation, deep breathing, and yoga.