No other muscle in the body works out like the heart does – by beating around 100,000 times a day it pumps around 2,000 gallons of blood every day. This vital process not only provides fresh oxygen and nutrients to organs and tissues, it carries waste products away for removal.
For such an important part of our body, there are actually some very simple ways to keep it performing at its best. Here are five tips to keep you on the path to good heart health.
Plan to eat smartly – Fiber is your heart’s best friend, so you’ll want to prioritize fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. If you’re cutting down on carbohydrates, make sure the carbs you eat are from whole grains and you’ll be doing your vascular system a big favor. Similarly, when you cook with oil use monounsaturated fats like olive and canola oil to promote good cholesterol.
Go with the good oil – one of the best diets for good cardiovascular health is the Mediterranean diet. Prioritizing baked fish along with high amounts of cereals, nuts, fruits and olive oil, multiple studies have shown great benefits for reducing cardiovascular disease. Prioritize the consumption of Omega-3 Fatty Acids through diet or supplementation to promote good heart health.
Find simple ways to be active – we give advice on getting exercise every week for Wellness Wednesdays – and for good reason! A little can go a long way towards giving you a longer, healthier lifestyle. We’re not asking a lot! Just 30 minutes of moderate activity on almost every day will do wonders for your heart. That’s anything from taking care of chores like yard work and cleaning the house to more leisurely activities like cycling and swimming. Even just taking a brisk walk will be enough!
Regulate your vices – While recent studies show no major issues with moderate consumption of alcohol, regular consumption (or even worse, heavy drinking) causes a host of problems, including high blood pressure, stroke, and cardiomyopathy (heart disease). Smoking causes even more problems, and it’s HIGHLY recommended you find ways to quit as soon as possible.
Moderate your drinking as best as possible and look for assistance with friends and family if you want to quit smoking.
Consult your doctor – everyone’s heart is different and some of us struggle with hereditary issues like high blood pressure or arrhythmia. Stay on top of your yearly checkups to make sure your heart is running smoothly. Your health care professional can identify any potential problems and will provide advice on how to handle them before they become serious.