According to the CDC, heart disease was the #1 cause of death for Americans in 2010. Even though the numbers have shifted slightly, the fact is that heart disease is still one of the leading causes of death around the world.
There’s no denying that good heart health is essential to longevity. The cardiovascular system may be complex, but there are natural ways to improve its health. Your lifestyle is your first defense against heart disease. Simple lifestyle changes that follow a holistic, natural plan will enable you to live a long, active life.
Let’s take a look at some heart-healthy lifestyle habits you can implement today.
– Eliminate all refined sugars. Replace it with natural sweeteners like honey and molasses.
– Avoid vegetable oils such as soy, corn and canola. Instead, choose olive oil and rice bran oil for cooking. Sesame and coconut oils work well in salad dressings.
– Add nuts and plant sterols to your lunch or dinner. Walnuts are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which are good for your heart.
– Reduce sodium intake. Sodium can increase blood pressure and make the heart work harder.
– Avoid stress as much as possible. Identify what causes you the most stress and eliminate it from your life. Whether it’s text, email, a job, a friend or family member, your life is more important than the stress these things cause.
Stress can increase blood pressure, heart rate and the hormone cortisol. Reduce stress you can’t eliminate by listening to music, taking deep breaths, and taking short breaks frequently.
– Quit smoking forever. Smoking is a major risk factor for heart disease. However, break the habit and you reduce your risk. If you can’t do it on your own, get help.
– A glass of alcohol a day for women can help reduce the risk of heart disease. Limit yourself to one glass, as more alcohol can cause high blood pressure.
– Read food labels carefully to avoid trans fats, sodium and hidden sugars.
– Add cayenne pepper to your diet. Cayenne tea is effective for improving your blood circulation and heart health.
– To become active. Thirty minutes of exercise a day is necessary to control heart health. It helps lower blood pressure, improve cholesterol levels and aids in weight management. Activities like gardening, climbing stairs, doing housework or just walking the dog count as exercise.
– Add some strength training to your training program. Strength training reduces your weight and builds muscle mass and endurance.
– Control your cholesterol levels and blood pressure with diet and medication if necessary.
– Lower your blood sugar. Diabetes can cause major problems with the cardiovascular system, blocking blood vessels and accelerating atherosclerosis. Diet and medication can control blood sugar.
– Maintain a healthy weight. Obesity and overweight can aggravate most health problems that lead to cardiovascular disease. Lose weight through healthy eating and exercise.
– Scrub your hands often with soap and water. Infections and flu can put a strain on the heart.
– You can be thankful. Spend time each day finding positive things to be grateful for. Positive emotions lead to less stress and worry.
– Add vitamin and mineral supplements to promote heart health.
As you can see, these are easy-to-follow lifestyle changes that anyone can make.
Take a proactive approach to heart health. Instead of waiting for symptoms to appear, start now before problems develop. Simple lifestyle changes can lead to a very healthy heart, improved mood, and overall well-being.
Thanks to J Russell Hart