How healthy is your heart? Considering how vital your heart is to living a healthy life, keeping it as healthy as possible makes sense. If your heart health could use some improvement, there are some things you can do to make that happen–all it takes to get started is a plan and the discipline to follow through with it.
Include Cardio in Your Workouts
Cardiovascular fitness is all about improving your heart’s fitness. It’s even in the name. Cardiovascular activities stimulate your heart to pump faster and with more force, working it out just like you would any other muscle. This helps maintain its strength and efficiency.
Regularly engaging in different cardiovascular exercises also help you maintain a healthy weight. By maintaining a healthy weight, you avoid putting unnecessary stress on your heart and blood vessels, preserving the health of your cardiovascular system.
Change Your Diet
Exercise is excellent for maintaining a healthy weight, but diet has a much stronger role to play in losing weight if that’s what you need. What you eat influences other aspects of heart health too. Consuming a nutritious, balanced diet reduces your risk of cardiovascular disease, including atherosclerosis.
Following a Mediterranean diet is a good way to get the nutrients you need. It includes lots of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains; healthy fats; moderate amounts of fish, cheese, and yogurt; and little to no meat (opt for poultry instead of red meat), sweets, sugary drinks, or butter. Adopting a Mediterranean diet can also help improve blood sugar levels and brain health.
Practice Stress Management
A certain amount of stress can be beneficial, but most people today seem to experience stress well beyond that level. Prolonged, chronic stress is bad for your heart. Counter that by practicing stress management techniques. With consistent, disciplined practice, your stress levels may decrease, and your heart health may benefit as a result. Your mental health may improve as well. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t see results immediately. It takes time for stress management techniques to have long-lasting effects (though some people experience immediate short-term relief after a single practice).
Having a healthy heart takes work. It requires a combination of physical activity, balanced nutrition, and stress management. While those aren’t the only things you can do to improve your heart health, they are a great place to start. Talk to your doctor about other ways to improve your heart health to live the healthy life you want.
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