One of the leading causes of death is related to heart disease. As young as possible, you need to make smart choices to prevent heart disease. An unhealthy diet and lack of exercise can take a toll on your physical health.
By starting early and taking simple steps, it can positively impact your cardiovascular system. Your smart lifestyle choices will protect you from developing heart-related conditions. Let’s determine how you can maintain a healthy heart in different stages of your life.
Heart Health Tips for All Ages
1. Follow a Healthy Diet
To maintain your weight and reduce blood and cholesterol levels, eat nutritious food and eliminate consumption of unhealthy fats. Eating fruits and vegetables helps in cutting down unnecessary calories from consuming cheese and snacks.
Select foods with low saturated and trans fat. Limiting the intake of foods with fats can decrease the risk of coronary artery disease. Choosing lean meats and using less margarine and butter are some of the ways to cut down fats.
As part of a healthy diet, pick a low-fat and high-protein source of food. Eggs, lean meat, and fish are good sources of protein. Some types of fish, such as salmon and mackerel, contain omega-3 fatty acids. It can naturally lessen blood triglycerides. Beans and peas are also good options.
Limit salt in your food because it can cause high blood pressure. You can simply reduce salt while cooking, but limiting the consumption of canned goods will also be helpful. Most of the time, processed foods and canned goods contain a lot of sodium.
2. Be Physically Active
Apart from the mental and physical benefits of exercise, it can also strengthen your heart. Engaging in physical activity is one of the primary steps towards a healthy heart. Through exercise, you can manage your weight and eliminate artery damage due to high blood sugar, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.
Aerobic, strength, flexibility, and resistance training are some of the most vital exercises you can do. Here’s how it can benefit you and how frequently you should perform the activities.
- Aerobic Fitness: 30 minutes a day of walking, running, swimming, and cycling can improve blood circulation. This aerobic fitness exercise can also help in lowering blood sugar and can lessen the risk of diabetes.
- Strength and Resistance Training: This type of physical activity can reduce fat and build muscle. By combining aerobic and resistance training, you can also increase good cholesterol.
- Flexibility: Although stretching and balance are not directly good for the heart. Flexibility exercises allow you to prepare before performing aerobic and resistance training.
3. Avoid Smoking and Smokers
Most people know the adverse impacts of cigarettes on the lungs. However, smoking and second-hand smoking can also cause a heart attack. The nicotine found in cigarettes can reduce the oxygen your heart receives, elevate blood pressure, create blood clots, and speed up the heart rate.
If you are smoking, quitting can improve your heart and lessen the risk of having heart disease. Prepare yourself mentally and emotionally to successfully quit. There are several ways to do that, including nicotine replacement and therapy.
4. Visit Your Doctor for a Regular Check-Up
Before the problems occur, it would be best to have a regular check-up. This way, you will learn how to maintain a healthy lifestyle and mitigate blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol levels. You can find a physician or family doctor that can conduct regular wellness exams. Build a relationship with them, and they can provide you with advice about your diet and lifestyle.
In Your 30s/40s/50s
Between these ages, you can be busy with your job and family. Oftentimes, you may forget how to balance a healthy lifestyle with a career and family.
- Combine family bonding with physical activities. Even though you are busy with life, allocate time with your family to exercise together. Spend more time with them by exploring a park, biking, or walking the dog.
- Plant a garden. If you have some space around your house, planting vegetables and fruits can be used for creating healthy dishes.
- Know your family history. Determine whether your family has experienced heart problems before because it may increase the risk of a heart-related condition.
- Manage your stress. Long-term stress can adversely affect your heart rate and blood pressure. Learning how to handle stress can benefit your heart and boost your mental and emotional skills. Try breathing exercises and find time to relax.
- Find an assisted living home. There’s nothing wrong with investing in a place where you can be supported and assisted. This type of environment can lift your mood, help you engage in physical activities, build relationships, and support your condition.
As you age, you need to focus on making wise decisions. Around your 40s or 50s, you need to regularly check your weight because at this point your metabolism is slowing down. Get yourself a workout buddy to keep you motivated. Also, don’t brush it off if people notice that you are snoring. Research shows that sleep apnea can increase the risk of high blood pressure and stroke.
Furthermore, there are facilities or assisted living homes that can take care of you. They offer supervisory care, including delivering medication and meals. They also encourage a healthy social lifestyle.
With all the different ways to maintain your heart health, make sure to apply this in your life. Little changes can significantly impact the quality of your life. Keep in mind that you need to control your food portions, eat nutritious food, and find a workout routine.
As you grow older, your body changes. You need to adapt and learn how you can manage. Also, don’t forget to visit your doctor regularly. This way, they can monitor your body and track progress. Moreover, they can detect early signs of a heart problem and help you get treated.