Summertime is a favorite for people of all ages. The sunshine, long days, and endless activities bring us all together for a happy, healthy season. Keeping your heart healthy ensures you’ll be able to enjoy these times with family and friends, and we’re going to offer some helpful tips on just how to do that.
From giving up poor habits like smoking and bad diets to getting up and moving, this guide will cover five important ways to keep your heart healthy this summer and beyond. You might be surprised to learn just how impactful some of these lifestyle changes can be on your health, so read on!
1. Quit Smoking
If you’re a smoker, you’re putting yourself at a much higher risk for heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure, and more. Hypertension is damaging in itself, causing staring on the hart and even damaging cardiac tissue and blood vessels. Each time you smoke, you’re increasing your blood pressure for the duration of your cigarette, as well as your overall blood pressure.
Smoking is a habit that millions pick up every year, but it’s inherently harmful to both your personal health and the environment. Tobacco farming has far-reaching environmental impacts, and smoking pollutes the air around you, as well as damages vital internal organs.
If you’re a smoker, the first step to improving your heart health this summer is ditching the habit. Try alternatives like Black Buffalo tobaccoless dip, nicotine patches, CBD oils, or nicotine gum. You can always quit cold turkey, too.
2. Get Up and Move
It’s no secret that regular exercise is beneficial to overall health, but it’s especially beneficial to your heart health. A heart that never works hard isn’t a healthy heart! With the sun shining, birds chirping, and longer days, you should be able to get in much more physical exercise during the summertime.
The American Heart Association recommends that the average adult engage in at least 150 minutes per week of intense aerobic activity. That means get up, get moving, and enjoy yourself! Not only does frequent exercise keep your body healthy, it’s also a mood-booster and is believed to improve overall mental health as well.
Even if you’re only moving a little bit, it’s better than doing nothing. Make a point to walk up and down your stairs a few extra times, or walk around the house while you’re watching TV. You can always join an exercise group, but equipment, or take up an aerobic activity to keep your body moving.
3. Eat Healthier
With heart disease being the number one killer of adults in the US, it’s high time we addressed the elephant in the room: our poor diets. Most people eat a diet that’s high in carbs, sugar, and fats; the exact opposite of what a healthy diet looks like. This can lead to hypertension, plaque buildup in the blood vessels, obesity, and much more. All of these things can drastically affect your heart health.
The first step to a healthier diet is identifying flaws in your current diet. Replace carbs and sugary foods with vegetables and fruits, and make water your drink of choice in place of fruity drinks, sports drinks, or soda. Lowering your sugar intake is always a good choice.
Focus on retraining your brain to stay away from fried foods and high-fat choices. It’s all too easy to walk into a fast-food restaurant and get a juicy burger; and while you might enjoy it at that moment, you could be causing dangerous plaque build-up in your arteries.
4. Regular Visits
When is the last time you went to see your doctor for a checkup and blood work? I thought so. Whether it’s the cost of healthcare, the inconvenience of a doctor’s visit, or simple stubbornness, many people simply aren’t seeing their doctor enough. Regular visits can help you identify issues early on before they become serious problems.
Your heart should be a prime consideration for your doctor visits. If notice shortness of breath, trouble moving around, or sharp chest pains, be sure to follow up with a doctor. These could be symptoms of a more serious cardiac issue!
5. Get Your Stress Under Control
Did you know that stress can actually increase your risk for heart problems? When you’re stressed out, the body releases a hormone called cortisol, which is known as the “stress hormone”. High levels of cortisol in the blood can dramatically increase your risk for hypertension, heart attack, and more. The bottom line? Your stress is slowly killing your heart; it’s time to get it under control. If you’re someone that struggles with stress management, this might help.
Heart health should always be a priority in your life. Without a healthy heart, you’ll age quicker, become less mobile, and have less energy to enjoy life. Take care of your ticker!
Article Submitted By Community Writer