Do you know that heart disease is one of the leading causes of death for men and women in the United States?
In recent years, the number of people at risk of heart attacks and strokes has increased significantly. It’s mainly because of unhealthy changes in lifestyle. But the good news is you don’t have to be one of them. While it’s true that genetics play a crucial role in cardiovascular diseases, the majority of risk factors can easily be prevented through education, preventive measures, and by making heart-healthy choices.
Now, what healthy choices can you make to manage the risk factors and keep your heart healthy and strong? Read on. This article will discuss the top five ways to love your heart and keep it stronger for the long haul.
So, let’s get started.
1. Understanding Digital Health Technologies
Unlike traditional preventive measures, having access to and understanding life-saving technologies is now a novel way to maintain your heart health and prevent the risk of cardiovascular diseases. While several factors may obstruct the successful implementation of digital health interventions, one such factor is digital illiteracy.
Staying abreast of such technologies and using them to monitor your heart’s health is important. Some of the most common noninvasive digital health technologies include smartphone apps, remote monitoring, wearable devices, etc. Similarly, you must also have access to and knowledge of digital devices that can provide immediate assistance during unforeseen cardiac emergencies.
For this purpose, visiting the new Avive AED store will prepare you for a cardiac emergency. AED (automated external defibrillator) is an easy-to-use medical device that helps individuals experiencing sudden cardiac arrest.
2. Quit Smoking
We all know that smoking, including secondhand smoke, damages our lungs. But you may not know this harmful addiction is also bad for your heart. That’s because when you smoke, it accelerates clot formation in many different ways. For instance, it thickens your blood, which results in poor blood circulation.
Similarly, the chemicals in cigarettes increase the amount of plaque buildup in your arteries and become a major cause of various coronary heart diseases and, eventually, stroke. Thus, while practicing regular exercise and a healthy diet, it is also important to cease smoking immediately. It is one of the most effective lifestyle changes that help you keep your heart healthy in the long run.
Some ways to quit smoking include using quit-smoking aids like nicotine patches or pills, medicine, or even counseling. Also, you may need several attempts before you can quit smoking but remember, each attempt brings you one step closer to beating the habit successfully, so keep trying and don’t give up.
3. Reduce Stress
One great way to keep your heart protected is to keep stress under control. When you are stressed, it increases your cortisol, leading to weight gain and higher cholesterol levels, and blood pressure. Moreover, high stress may cause you to adopt unhealthy behaviors like overeating or smoking.
Remember, there are more than 1400 biochemical responses to stress, including a faster heart rate. Also, failing to manage your stress can lead to more stress and trap you in a stress cycle. Therefore, take steps to control and ease your life’s stress as soon as possible. Some ways to manage stress include practicing yoga, tai chi, deep breathing exercises, meditation, or enrolling in a stress management class. When you ease the stress, it not only improves your heart’s health but also enhances the overall quality of your life.
4. Get Adequate Sleep
You may find it surprising, but it’s true that getting adequate sleep every night contributes to a healthy heart. That’s because deep sleep lets your body settle into periods of lower heart rate and blood pressure, giving your heart a well-deserved rest. Moreover, it allows the blood pressure to regulate properly, helps decrease stress, and restores the body.
Unsurprisingly, people with insomnia or poor sleep patterns are at high risk of developing heart diseases. Disjointed or too little sleep is responsible for improper hormonal balance in the body, creating havoc on other organs. That’s why getting proper 7-8 hours of sleep is essential.
You can ensure this by avoiding distractions like scrolling on your cell phone, working on the computer, or watching television into the wee hours. Similarly, try to sleep and wake up in the morning at the same time. It’ll not only help you get adequate sleep but also make you feel refreshed, relieve stress, and revitalize you for the day ahead.
5. Stay Physically Active
Generally, people who are not physically active develop many medical problems, including an unhealthy heart. While you may not need to go for two hours of workout every day, any type of physical activity, such as a 30-minute walk, maybe more helpful than no activity. Just like you exercise to build strong muscles, you need physical activity to strengthen your heart.
On average, it is recommended to ensure at least a 150-minute of moderate exercises like biking, swimming, or even brisk walking. If you cannot manage it in your daily schedule, you can opt for a 75-minute vigorous exercise like aerobics or running each week. Similarly, if your job involves sitting at your desk for a long, try to bring movement into your routine by stretching, walking, or taking frequent breaks.
In short, the key is to be consistent. While exercise may not help reduce the waistline, it will help lower your cholesterol and blood pressure.
Change is a significant part of keeping your heart strong and healthy. While you can adopt many healthy lifestyle changes, understand that maintaining optimal heart health or preventing cardiovascular diseases is about focusing on good lifestyle habits.
Some great ways to ensure a healthy heart are to be familiar with life-saving technologies, ensure physical activity in your routine, get adequate sleep, quit smoking, and reduce stress. While you may not be able to overhaul unhealthy habits quickly, try to start with a series of small changes. It’ll help you keep a healthy heart and motivate you to make big lifestyle changes.