Heart disease is a common ailment that many people face around the world. According to the American Heart Association, it’s the number one cause of death worldwide and the number one cause of death in women. There are many preventative measures that can help to prevent heart disease and improve your cardiovascular health. While they are not easy fixes, they can be accomplished with planning, research, and motivation. A great way to keep on track is to include your spouse, another family member, or a friend.
Here are some of the best ways to improve your heart:
Exercise is incredibly important for your health. Please check with your doctor before trying a new fitness regimen. “Aerobic” means “needs oxygen.” Aerobic exercise uses a constant supply of oxygen during exercise, while burning both fat and carbohydrates for energy. It gets your heart rate up for longer periods of time. That’s why it’s commonly called “cardio.” This doesn’t mean you have to start running 5 miles a day. Start out slow with a walk every day or yoga. You can slowly build up over time as your endurance gets stronger.
We all love eating fries, pizza and dessert and you don’t have to deprive yourself of these things. Although, it is important to eat them in moderation. Maintaining a good diet does take planning and research. Making a grocery list and pre-planning for meals can help you stay on track. Getting vegetables ready ahead of time is also extremely helpful. Remember to make a colorful plate. Leafy green vegetable, berries, avocados, beans, whole grains, and salmon are food rich in antioxidants and help keep your heart pumping.
Keeping stress at bay is easier said than done. When you get stressed, there is a rise in blood pressure and your heart beats faster. While we can’t eliminate stress all together, you can create tactics to help manage it. Meditation is a great way to manage stress. There are a lot of free meditation podcasts that you can use to talk you through a mediation. Clearing your mind and practicing slow breathing can bring your heart rate down and help you think more clearly. Listening to music, taking a bath, and lighting a candle can all help with stress management as well.
According to the CDC, smoking is the leading cause of preventable disease and death in the US. Smoking increases heart rate, tightens arteries and can cause an irregular heartbeat making your heart work harder. There’s also a whole host of other health issues that smoking causes. It’s not easy to quit but luckily there are many resources to help with quitting.
Eat Chocolate and Drink Wine
Yes, you read that right! Eating dark chocolate can help decrease heart disease. Cocoa, the main ingredient in chocolate contains antioxidants. But not all chocolate is created equal. The recommendation is the higher the cocoa content, the better for your health. Wine is also a source of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties because of plant-based non-alcoholic ingredients. While dark chocolate and wine have some health-related benefits, it’s important to eat and drink in moderation otherwise the negative effects will outweigh the benefits.
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is so beneficial to living an enjoyable and energetic life. It does require a plan to change your current habits and to sustain the new lifestyle. Our caregivers are trained to help in non-medical care whether it’s to help with grocery shopping, making healthy meals, prepping vegetables, or going for daily walks. HomeWell Care Managers can put together a customized plan that works for you or your loved one. Contact us today.