Ways to Improve Your Heart Health Quickly and Naturally

Your heart is the pump that provides oxygen and nutrients to all the tissues in your body. Keeping it in great shape is key to a healthy life. Following these tips in your daily life can help keep your ticker ticking.

Eat for heart health
Tip 1: Lower your daily sodium intake
Too much sodium causes you to retain water, according to a small 2017 studyTrusted Source. When it does, your heart has to work harder to move the additional fluid through your body. Choose foods labeled as “no salt added,” try to avoid foods that have more than 400 milligrams of sodium per serving, and try to stay below 1500 milligrams total per day.
Whenever you can, replace salt in your cooking with herbs and spices. The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet can also be a helpful way to lower sodium and help take care of your heart.
Tip 2: Lower your saturated fat intake
Saturated fat can lead to atherosclerosis, where hard plaque builds up in your arteries. You can lower your intake by eating low fat cuts of meat, like the eye of round roast or sirloin tip, and avoiding high fat dairy products. Generally speaking, if it’s greasy, it’s likely higher in saturated fats.
Tip 3: Choose heart-healthy fats
Unsaturated fats can be heart-healthy by lowering inflammation in your body. Inflammation can lead to heart disease. Heart-healthy fats include vegetable oil, low fat mayonnaise, and oil-based salad dressings.
Following a Mediterranean diet can be a tasty way to bring healthier fats into your diet and lower cholesterol.
Tip 4: Increase your dietary fiber intake
Fiber helps you feel fuller and can help lower cholesterol levels. Plus, the Department of Health and Human ServicesTrusted Source says that high fiber foods are generally healthier, including beans, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
Tip 5: Eat lots of fruits and vegetables
Fruits and veggies are packed with nutrients and are lower in calories to help you maintain a moderate weight and reduce inflammation. The more colorful and fresh your choices, the better.
Tip 6: Eat low fat dairy products
Low fat dairy products are excellent alternativesTrusted Source to high fat ones. Examples include skim milk, low fat yogurt, soy milk, or fat-free cheeses.
Get active
Tip 7: Get enough exercise each week
Moderate or vigorous activity — it’s your choice how you like to get your exercise in. The American Heart Association (AHA)Trusted Source recommends getting at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic exercise per week or 75 minutes of vigorous activity. Combining both is okay, too.
Tip 8: Don’t leave out resistance training
Engaging in activities that help you build strong muscles, such as lifting weight or using resistance bands, can power your metabolism. This helps you maintain a moderate weight and blood pressure.
Tip 9: Spend less time sitting
Standing, walking, and moving, in general, can be more heart-healthy than constant sitting. If possible, use a standing desk or make efforts to take walk breaks throughout your day. According to the AHATrusted Source, physical inactivity is linked with greater risks of heart disease and early death. Keep moving!
Maintain good habits
Tip 10: Don’t smoke
Smoking can have serious effects on your heart health. If you do smoke, this is a great time to try quitting. If you need help, call 1-800-QUIT-NOW to access a 24/hour quitline with resources for quitting smoking.
Tip 11: Avoid secondhand smoke
Exposure to secondhand smoke puts your heart health at risk, too. If someone in your house smokes, ask them to smoke outside. Or better yet, encourage them to quit.
Tip 12: Avoid excess alcohol intake
Alcohol in excess can increase your risk of heart disease. Moderation is key. The Department of Health and Human ServicesTrusted Source recommends not more than 2 drinks per day for most adults.
Tip 13: Maintain a moderate weight
When you maintain a moderate weight, you aren’t putting excessive demands on your heart. Talk with your doctor about what a moderate weight is for you given your age, height, and frame.
Tip 14: Manage your chronic health conditions
Visiting a doctor annually (or more often, depending on your health) can help you take a preventive approach to care. If you have conditions known to affect heart health, such as chronic kidney disease or diabetes, make efforts to manage these conditions to improve your overall health. Getting treatment early and following your treatment plan can drastically improve your outlook.
Manage stress
Tip 15: Take time to relax each day
Even if it’s just for a few minutes, taking time to relax can be beneficial to your overall health. If stress is a part of your everyday life, you’re at an increased riskTrusted Source of high blood pressure, obesity, and heart disease.
Tip 16: Reach out to a friend or loved one
Reaching out to loved ones when you feel stressed can help you receive the support that you need. Sharing your emotions and anxieties can be difficult, but a person who wants the best for you will provide a listening ear. Plus, they’ll likely value the chance to understand how they can help you better.
Tip 17: Create stress management strategies
Realistically, you probably will deal with stressful events from time to time. Create a strategy for how you can maintain calm when you do. This may include deep breathing, repeating a calming saying, or prioritizing the tasks at hand. When you prepare for stressful events, you’re better able to cope with them

Release date : 2022/07/05
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