According to the American Heart Association, cardiovascular disease, also known as heart disease, is the leading number one cause of death in America. However, heart disease does not limit itself to one country and can affect any one. There are some heart disease risk factors that we cannot change such as age, gender, race or ethnicity, and family history. Heart disease is a major disability, and it can lead to other health illnesses such as heart attacks, strokes, heart valve problems, arrhythmia, and much more. Despite the risk factors that we cannot change, there are some things we can still control to help keep our heart healthy.
Here are the Top 10 tips for a Healthy Heart that we can control, and ensure prevention of Cardiovascular Disease:
Cooking Healthier– Food is a major part of living, but how we cook and what we eat makes a major difference in our health. Here are some cooking tips that you can benefit from:
- Use an Air Fryer (pictured to the right) instead frying food with oil/grease
- Measure the amount of salt you add into your foods
- Add more fruit and vegetables in meals (read Top 10 Foods for a Healthy Heart for recommendations)
Have a Healthy Eating Plan– Sometimes it is not the food we eat but the amount of food we eat. Eating too little or too much can affect our heart in many ways. Creating a healthy eating plan such as breakfast, lunch, dinner, and two snack times a day could make a difference in your health. Also, portioning your food will also help keep your heart healthy and prevent heart diseases. Click ChooseMyPlate.gov to learn more about food portioning.
Exercise/ Increase Physical Activity– Increasing your exercise levels or physical activity will manage a healthy heart and reduce the risk of developing a heart disease. Exercise can help manage your weight, blood pressure, and much more. Whether it is walking or working in the garden, at least 30-60 minutes of physical activity a day can keep your heart healthy.
Stress Management– Stress management is a major key component to keep the heart healthy. There are many factors that can cause stress such as work, your lifestyle, finances, or even the people you surround yourself with. There is no easy way to handle things that are unexpected, but there is a way to control our reactions to the unexpected. Control your stress levels by changing the outlook on the situation. Find the positive in everything, and do not let stress take over your day, mood, and well-being.
Adequate Amount of Sleep– Lack of sleep can do more than make the day drag and keep you yawning. Not getting enough sleep can increase higher chances of developing heart diseases, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and depression. Set a sleeping schedule, and make sleep a priority for your health and your heart.
Don’t Smoke/ Quit Smoking Tobacco– Many people do not think smoking tobacco products can increase the risk of developing heart disease. Although many people use tobacco products as a way to manage stress, they are causing multiple health risks to their body. Smoking can cause damage to your heart. If you are trying to quit or want to help someone quit smoking, then please visit Smokefree.gov.
Maintain a Healthy Weight– Being overweight can increase your risk in developing heart disease. With good exercises and a change in diet, managing your weight can be possible. Managing your weight will also help with maintaining a healthy heart. To manage your weight you can calculate your BMI by clicking here. A healthy weight can prevent other diseases from developing other than heart disease.
Limit Alcohol Usage– Avoid drinking too much alcohol because it can increase your blood pressure. Alcohol can cause other risk factors, such as liver failure, but the toll it takes on your heart can be dangerous. Manage your alcohol intake to keep your heart healthy.
Surround yourself with Positivity– Sometimes who we surround ourselves with can affect our daily lives and our way of thinking. Being around those that are positive will influence positivity in your own life. Positivity can influence our mental health, which can increase a healthy heart. For more information on positivity read HFR article, A Positive Mind = A Healthy Body.
Get Heart Screenings– The best way to make sure you maintain a healthy heart is to have regular heart screenings. Screenings can include blood pressure, cholesterol, BMI, and much more. Visit your local clinic or physician to learn more information on getting heart screenings.