Saturday, 01 August 2020 17:37

Ten Tips for a Healthy Heart

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As we get older, there's an essential body part (among many others) that needs to get kept in tip-top shape - your heart. Keeping your heart healthy as you get older is a crucial element in maintaining your body's overall health. So, how can you assure that your ticker is top-of-line as you get older? Here are our ten tips for a healthy heart.

  1. Don't Skip Your Yearly Checkup! No matter what steps you take to maintain your healthy heart, some problems only trained doctors can detect. Making sure you keep your appointment for a yearly physical can help ward off any long-term health impacts for your heart. Your physician should be able to pick up on issues early and design an effective action plan for keeping your heart healthy.
  2. Stop Smoking! If you still smoke, give it up as soon as possible. There aren't many habits more damaging to your heart's overall health than smoking. Smoking is a significant cause of a wide array of heart problems and is tremendously damaging to your overall health, as well. Find the method that works for you - cold turkey, hypnosis, nicotine patches - and stop smoking as soon as possible.
  3. Avoid Secondhand Smoke. The same advice as above applies to secondhand smoke - or the ingestion of harmful ingredients from smokers around your area. Avoid the noxious clouds of smoke from cigarettes, cigars, and other smoking devices whenever possible. These clouds may be just as harmful as smoke ingested from a first-hand device, like a cigar or cigarette.
  4. Stop Sitting, Start Standing. Our modern sedentary jobs are gateways to poor heart health. More time spent sitting equals more time where those harmful heart diseases can quickly develop. Be proactive at your job. Invest in a standing desk (see if your company will cover it), and be sure to take scheduled breaks to get yourself moving during the day.
  5. Increase Your Aerobic Exercises. Get out there and move several times a week to burn off those calories and get your exercise in. Try investing in a step counter and aiming to hit a number goal every day. Walking and jogging are excellent options to make sure you get those steps in. Additionally, you can try to get a little creative with your aerobic workouts. Try something exciting, like pickup basketball, boxing, swimming, dance, or something else engaging to change up those exercises and keep it interesting.
  6. Cut Down on Alcohol. Excessive alcohol consumption is another gateway to all of the dangers associated with unhealthy hearts. Try cutting down your drinking to an exact number each week. Switch from heavy, calorie-ridden beers like IPAs and stouts to lighter lagers. If you've never been a wine person and would still like a few drinks, give red wine another try. The bottom line? Aim to drink in moderation (if at all) and avoid any college-like alcohol binges.
  7. Cut Down on Unhealthy Foods. Diet is one of the most critical parts of a "heart-healthy" health plan. Reduce your consumption (or cut out entirely) foods that are bad for your heart - like bacon, processed foods, baked goods, red meat, and bread. Don't forget about the drinks, too. We've already gone over alcohol, but try to cut out those sweet drinks (juices, sugared iced teas, and sodas, for example) that add nothing to your diet and do a lot of damage to your health.
  8. Start Consuming Healthy Foods. Rather than the unhealthy foods that we just mentioned, try some of the foods actually good for your heart! Bring in foods like berries, green vegetables, avocados, walnuts, and dark chocolate (small amounts) into your diet. These foods can provide quite a benefit for the health of your heart.
  9. Reduce Your Stressors. Stress is another killer. Excess amounts of stress can have a strikingly adverse effect on a person's health. Whether it be stressors at work, at home, or in your social life, try to take steps to reduce their harmful impacts. Take some time out of the day to meditate. Do yoga. Attend therapy sessions. Talk with your boss, significant other, or friends to address the serious problems and try to correct them. Tackle these stresses now before they blossom into full-out crises.
  10. Get a Dog - and Laugh. Getting a dog (or another active pet) is a great way to start moving - and can cut down on the stress in your life. Additionally, laughter can be a great stress reducer. Hopefully, you have a funny fido or a cut-up cat in the household! If not, try checking out a few of those Netflix comedy specials on the treadmill.