Tips for a healthy heart
Keeping your heart healthy throughout your life is of great importance in reducing your risk of cardiovascular disease, including heart disease and stroke. No matter what your age is, you should always strive to lead a healthy lifestyle by eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly, not smoking and not drinking alcohol excessively. The following tips can help you to keep your heart in shape!
- Make a healthy eating plan
Make sure to eat plenty of:
- Fruits and vegetables
- Oily fish, e.g. salmon, mackerel, sardines, herring
- Fiber-rich whole grains, e.g. oats, barley, corn, popcorn, brown rice, bulgur
- Nuts, legumes and seeds
Avoid foods with high levels of saturated fats (e.g. butter, cream, yoghurt, fatty meats), foods high in sodium (salty foods), sugar sweetened beverages (most fizzy drinks), and red meats. Try to have a few meals each week that do not contain any meat.
- Keep fit and active
Your heart is a muscle, so the more active you are, the stronger and healthier it will be. To improve cardiovascular health, it is recommended by the American Heart Association that you do at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise each week or 75 minutes of strenuous exercise, or a combination of both.
As an easy way to fit some exercise into your day, try walking briskly to your destination instead of driving or taking public transport, or walk for the last 20 minutes if it is a long trip. It is also never too late to take up a new sport or hobby such as cycling, running, or swimming.
Regular exercise will help you to:
- Burn calories
- Reduce “bad” cholesterol
- Lower your blood pressure
- Maintain a healthy lifestyle
Leading a generally healthy lifestyle is also important for maintaining a healthy heart. This includes avoiding or stopping smoking, not drinking excessive amounts of alcohol, and looking after your mental health.
Following these three tips are just some of the simple things you can do to help keep your heart healthy and happy for longer!