How Can You Improve Heart Health?
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought significant attention towards health - especially the immune system. As you age, a major concern regarding the immune system is your heart’s health. It’s the centerpiece of your body; it keeps you going. For healthy aging, it’s fundamental to begin with improving your heart’s health.
Here are some ways you can adopt to improve heart health:
Keep your stress levels in check
Stress is commonly known as a fight-or-flight mechanism that prepares your body to evade or confront danger. While a moderate level of stress is essential for survival and growth, high stress levels can be bad for your heart. When you’re stressed out, your body releases a hormone - known as cortisol - which can reach high levels during long-term stress. This can increase blood cholesterol, triglycerides, blood sugar, and blood pressure - all of which are risky for your heart.
If you want to improve heart health, it’s important to keep your stress levels in check. Furthermore, long-term anxiety or emotional stress can also increase the risk of cardiac arrests. To improve heart health, reduce your anxiety and stress levels by indulging in yoga and meditation. If you still have some trouble in dealing with these issues, you can consult with medical professionals at the Neuropsychiatry and Behavioral Psychotherapy of Norvic International Hospital. To book an appointment, connect with us at Embrace HealthNet.
Get adequate sleep
To improve heart health, take this advice to your heart: sleep! You see, if you don’t sleep enough, you’re at a higher risk of heart diseases. In a way, inadequate sleep or oversleeping causes disruptions in your body’s biological processes like glucose metabolism, blood pressure, and inflammation. In addition, it’s also essential to get good quality sleep to improve heart health.
If you have any trouble with your sleep, then don’t hesitate to consult your doctor.
Get a thorough health check-up
You won’t know if your body has any condition unless you get it checked. When it comes to your efforts to improve heart health, ignorance isn’t bliss. To put it elaborately, getting a regular health check-up can help to diagnose and treat heart diseases before they worsen. Furthermore, as you reach the age of 45, you are likely to develop a heart disease. Thus, to improve heart health, it’s better to have a treatment plan from an early stage. This includes regular blood tests, blood pressure checks, sugar levels, cholesterol levels and such, along with a couple of changes in your lifestyle and diet.
To put it in basic terms: exercise gets your heart pumping and blood flowing. In fact, a sedentary lifestyle - one with little to no physical activity - is said to be one of the major risk factors for heart diseases. Furthermore, to improve heart health, it’s crucial that you exercise regularly. This helps to regulate blood pressure, cholesterol, glucose - among other factors.
What kind of exercises can you do to improve heart health? Here’s a quick rundown:
- Aerobic exercise:
According to the American Heart Association (AHA), aerobic exercise comprises activities that “increase breathing and heart rate such as walking, jogging, swimming, biking and jumping rope.” Ideally, experts recommend doing this exercise for at least 30 minutes a day, five days a week.
- Resistance training:
Resistance training is more focused on body composition. It also helps to protect your body from injury and boosts your metabolic rate to improve heart health. It includes working out with free weights or doing push-ups, squats and chin-ups. The AHA recommends this exercise at least twice per week.
- Flexibility and balance:
The name speaks for itself - it’s all about stretching your muscles and enhancing your lower body strength. Exercises that emphasize these two components help to avoid discomfort and prevent falls, which is one of the most prominent aging health concerns. An example of this type could be yoga. AHA recommends stretching 3 to 5 times during each session, and doing balance training 3 or more days a week.
It’s time to pull your socks up and stretch those muscles to improve heart health!
Watch what you eat
One of the best ways to improve heart health is through the stomach, i.e. your diet. Here are three key food items that can help you improve heart health:
- Whole grains:
Foods with whole grains include whole wheat, brown rice, oats, barley, buckwheat, and such. Studies show that eating three more servings of whole grains daily helps to improve heart health by lowering the risk of heart diseases by 22 percent.
Walnuts are rich in micronutrients like magnesium, copper and manganese. Research suggests that a diet with walnuts can help you improve heart health by regulating cholesterol levels and blood pressure.
- Green tea:
Green tea contains essential components that help to maintain cholesterol levels and decrease high blood pressure.
Of course, this is a general platter. You may find it difficult to develop a diet plan all by yourself. Consult a trusted nutritionist to help you create a diet plan that’s fit for you.
Establish healthy habits
One of the most effective ways to improve heart health is through building a strong immune system. For this, you’ll have to say goodbye to your bad habits like smoking, alcohol, tobacco and the like. Take cigarettes, for example. The chemicals in cigarettes not only damage your heart and blood vessels, but also change your blood chemistry. This can gradually build up and cause blood clots, thus, leading to a heart attack or a stroke. So, to improve heart health, you’ll have to start with improving your habits first.
Improve heart health: One step at a time!
Taking care of your heart isn’t a one-time thing that can work out in an instant. It’s a time consuming process that takes effort. If you’re confused about where to start, you can reach out to us!
At Embrace HealthNet, we help you simplify your medical plans. The healthcare system in Nepal can be difficult to weave through - and this is where we step in. We can easily help you and your loved ones book appointments with doctors at Norvic International Hospital. We understand the importance of self-care education, informing you and your family of the most effective ways to improve heart health. We consider our relationship with you to be a partnership for good health. We connect you and your family to your healthcare needs.
Embrace HealthNet - We share your care.