National Heart Health Month should be celebrated via an array of nutrition, exercise, and lifestyle habits. The following tips and guidelines apply to anyone, but mud runners should look to the lifestyle and nutrition sections for additional benefit.
Dietary Choices for Heart Health
The biggest fundamental change that a modern individual can make to their heart-centric diet is the addition of omega-3 fatty acids. These helpful fats shore up the significant deficiencies that often occur in contemporary diets. Regular salmon consumption is the simplest way to bring up omega-3 intake. A serving or two twice a week will provide enough to stave off cardiovascular disease. Those who dislike salmon can find supplemental sources of omega-3s in either pill or fish oil form, but any non-food dosage should contain at least 560 mg of EPA and 150 mg of DHA per serving.
Choline is another fundamental hearth-health nutrient that is mostly known for its effects within the liver. However, proper liver functioning provides a significant respite for the heart. When the body is choline-deficient, fat accumulates on the liver and reduces its ability to function. This illness, which is called non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, causes increased triglyceride levels and reduced insulin sensitivity. Choline can be easily obtained from eggs and organ meats, such as beef or chicken livers.
Exercising for a Stronger Heart
The heart thrives on cardiovascular challenges, such as a vigorous run through the mud. Unfortunately, it is quite easy to forget how important high-intensity interval training can be to the heart and body. HIIT exercises take advantage of the full range of cellular and cardiovascular potential and elicit a cascade of beneficial hormonal processes. Common training styles include weight lifting and sprinting. Mud running can easily accommodate HIIT as long as sufficient exertion occurs within peak intervals.
Best Lifestyle Practices to Maintain Cardiovascular Vitality
The following habits are often overlooked when aiming for a healthier heart and body, but they are vital to staying fit and healthy. Flossing, for instance, is not commonly practiced. The benefits of excellent periodontal care include longer life, less risk of stroke, and a better smile. Flossing should be performed at least once a day before bedtime, and every reachable space between teeth should be cleaned.
Vitamin D is responsible for regulating the immune system and effectively using cholesterol. Basking in the midday sun is the easiest and safest form of vitamin D production due to the body’s innate regulatory activity. Unlike supplements that may contain inactive forms of vitamin D, 10 minutes of sunlight-mediated vitamin D production will provide sufficient amounts of biologically-beneficial D3.
However, some geographic areas may not provide enough of the particular UV rays required to synthesize vitamin D. This situation can be further worsened by cloud coverage, inclement weather, or colder seasons. For those who cannot obtain their vitamin D from the sun, fortified dairy products and supplements that contain D3 cholecalciferol are recommended.