The heart is an incredible organ that keeps the rest of our body functioning. While we may know about the heart’s central function on a theoretical level, there are many people who neglect to take proper care of this life-sustaining organ. Cardiovascular diseases are one the most prominent health issues across the globe, claiming millions of lives each year. The good news is that taking care of our hearts is something we all have the power to control. There are a number of straightforward steps a person can take to improve heart health. Take note of these five tips to get you started:
Manage Your Cholesterol
Every few years, your doctor should carry out a fasting lipoprotein profile for you. This test measures the levels of good cholesterol, bad cholesterol, and your body fat levels. If you have a family history of heart disease, you might be prone to high cholesterol, which can be tackled with medicine. However, cholesterol can also be managed by avoiding foods that are high in saturated fats, such as red meat, butter, and whole milk. Certain supplements such as cholestepure plus ii can also be used to perform a complementary role.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
Being overweight or obese puts additional strain on the heart by increasing the amount of effort to pump blood through the body. If you have a body mass index (BMI) over 30, it may be wise to shed a few extra pounds. Remember, weight loss won’t happen overnight, and it requires time and consistent effort. Finding yourself a support group such as Weight Watchers can help tremendously by encouraging you to stay accountable. However, before you start any new diet, check with the doctor for advice on how to lose weight safely and keep it off.
Stay Physically Active
Regular exercise can significantly improve heart health. Cardiovascular exercise strengthens the heart muscle, helps control weight, and is great for reducing stress. You should aim to get 30 minutes of exercise each day. The intensity doesn’t matter too much, but it is important to keep moving and raise your heart rate. Whether you try jogging, cycling, weights, Zumba, swimming or ballroom dancing, the options for exercise are endless.
The dangers of smoking are well-documented. Regardless of how long you’ve been smoking, it is never too late to quit. Within minutes of giving up cigarettes, your blood pressure can return to normal, and within three months, your lung function can increase, making it easier for you to exercise. We know that giving up cigarettes is easier said than done, so seek help if you are struggling. Whether it is your doctor or a support group, there are lots of options that could help.
Heart disease is a health concern that should be at the forefront of everyone’s mind. There are plenty of ways you can improve your heart health, but it may require a bit of effort and a fair share of lifestyle changes which aren’t always going to be easy.