Your heart is the key to your health. It is the central function of all systems in your body and is responsible for pumping blood throughout your body. That being said, heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. This can be attributed to the fact that the United States is one of the unhealthiest countries, with one in four deaths being from some form of heart disease. Taking care of your heart is incredibly important and if you want to prevent yourself from heart disease, then it is absolutely necessary.
Eat a Balanced Diet
Eating a balanced diet is one of the best things that you can do for your body, especially your heart. A diet that is high in sodium and carbs can clog your heart and can lead to a heart attack or stroke. The best way to prevent heart disease is to eat a balanced and well-rounded diet.
Make sure that you properly balance your plate with the major food groups and be sure that you are eating plenty of heart-healthy snacks. For example, swap out chips and cookies for dried fruit and greek yogurt or popcorn. Stop drinking sugary sodas and make the switch to flavored water. Research simple switches from bad food to healthy meals and find a way to still eat what you enjoy but in a healthy way.
Limit Your Cholesterol
Lowering your cholesterol is absolutely necessary in order to have a healthy heart. Large quantities of cholesterol are found in meat, eggs, cheese, fish, and full-fat yogurt. Essentially, large amounts of cholesterol are found in animal products.
Lowering your cholesterol and changing your diet to exclude these items can help improve the health of your heart. Lowering your cholesterol levels can help significantly reduce your risk for cardiovascular disease and subsequent heart problems.
Losing weight is one of the best things that you can do to improve the health of your heart. The heavier that you are, the harder that your heart has to work to get blood to your extremities. If you are overweight and fat is clogging your arteries, then your body is probably suffering as a result.
Make sure that you check your Body Mass Index (BMI) and compare it with the statistics of your height and age. If you are abnormally large, overweight, or obese, consider cutting calories to help improve your health. Cut out a few snacks each day and swap out high-calorie foods for lower-calorie replacements. Losing weight can be difficult, but if you approach it well and have the proper motivation then you are bound to succeed. Any and all improvement is beneficial to your health.
Exercising can help improve the capacity and health of your heart. Aerobic exercises such as swimming, biking, walking, and running are all incredibly beneficial to the improvement of your heart.
If you are able to, consider introducing exercise for at least 30 minutes a day. Go for a brisk stroll down your neighborhood or do a couple of laps at your local pool. Try to make a game out of the exercise and enjoy yourself; play some music or listen to a podcast. Gradually work yourself up to doing more and reward yourself by buying a fitness tracker or a healthy meal.
Monitor Your Health
Monitoring your health should be your biggest focus. Maintain regular doctor’s visits and discuss any new changes in your health. Get regular blood work and even complete a cholesterol test to see if the changes that you are making in your lifestyle are improving your health.
If possible, create an action plan on how you will take back your health and improve the condition of your heart and share it with your doctor. They might have beneficial suggestions or critiques that can be added to your plan. Keep a diary with your weight and measurements and do biweekly updates to see what is changing. Use these plans and diaries to identify what changes you make that are good and what are some things that are hurting your progress.
Overall, taking care of your heart is a big but beneficial step to the improvement of your health. Be proud of yourself! What you are doing is hard work, but you will be thankful for it in the end.