The heart is one of the most important muscles in the human body. It pumps 2,000 gallons (or 7,571 liters) of blood to your body (y’know, the stuff that keeps us alive). Like any other body part, it’s subject to wear and tear. In which case, its health is affected.
If you think that your ticker is too tired, or not in good working condition, here are seven tips towards a healthier heart!
Tip #1: Sleep early and properly
The earliest you should be in bed is 9 pm, 10:30 pm latest. By properly, we also mean 8 hours, like 9 pm to 5 am, not 12 a.m. to 8 a.m. According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, sleep is vital in repairing the heart and its blood vessels. Lack of sleep increases the risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. Turning in for the night early means saving up on otherwise expensive medicine for diabetes.
Tip #2: Eat healthy
Fatty foods, like those rich in saturated fat and are high in cholesterol increase your LDL (bad cholesterol), which in turn causes you to become more prone to heart disease. Don’t eat them as often as you did before or avoid them altogether. Examples of fatty foods are avocado, red meat, and shrimp. Instead, go for foodstuff like fish and walnuts. Both of contain omega 3 fatty acids, which decreases inflammation of heart arteries, according to Dr. Michael Roizen, chief wellness officer of the Cleveland Clinic.
Tip #3: Exercise
Aside from flushing out LDL (bad cholesterol), engaging in physical activity is good for blood circulation, which leads to an improvement in overall heart health. 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise like walking or jogging daily should do the trick.
Tip #4: Quit smoking
Research shows that nicotine can lead to atherosclerosis (narrowing of the heart’s arteries), which also leads to heart attack. According to the Mayo Clinic, any kind of smoking, whether a long-time habit or even social smoking with a cigarette or cigar, is dangerous enough to increase one’s risk to heart disease. Avoid it at all costs.
Tip #5: Take a break
Get a regular, peaceful, 15-minute break from work in the morning and afternoon. Getting a breather from your daily routine is guaranteed to bring down blood pressure, heart rate, and the levels of the stress hormone cortisol, advises Dr. Nieca Goldberg, director of New York University’s Women’s Heart Program.
Once you’ve followed these tips, we hope you live a happier and healthier life with your family and friends. Pass these on to them as well, so they know you care for them from the bottom of your heart.