No matter why you started your fitness program or are thinking of starting one, getting and staying healthy are always part of the goal. Here are some tips for a healthier heart. Heart disease is a killer and has the most potential for also causing death. However, when you make lifestyle changes and good choices for your health, many heart conditions and diseases are preventable. It’s all about changing the things you do daily that make a difference.
Cut out those highly processed foods and food that contains added sugar, especially if you have high blood pressure. Sugar is just as bad as salt for increasing it. Switch from foods that are fried and those with trans fats. Opt for healthier fat options like that from nuts, fish and avocado. You need fat, particularly Omega-3 fatty acids, so make sure you have salmon or fatty fish in your diet. It helps the heart keep a steady rhythm.
Get up and get moving.
Lack of exercise will rust you out faster than you can wear out exercising. Start working out regularly. While I believe you’ll get the best type of workout with the help of a trainer, you don’t have to go to a gym to start. Just get at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise every week or at least 75 minute of vigorous exercise. If you’re starting out, completely out of shape and not ready for a gym, walking a half hour a day is a good way to begin a program of exercise. Increase your distance every week, even if it’s just by a few steps. Don’t discount active sports and things you love, like dancing, swimming or playing ball.
If you are overweight, lose weight. Excess weight is not only bad for your heart, it’s bad for your whole body. It puts excess pressure on the walls of the arteries and makes your heart work harder. It can increase your risk for high blood pressure, atherosclerosis, stroke, heart attack and diabetes. It’s even worse if you carry your weight around your middle. Visceral fat—belly fat—has a direct correlation to high cholesterol levels and high blood pressure.
- Get moving. Even if you workout regularly, a sedentary lifestyle otherwise, can put your heart at risk. Move at least five minutes of every hour if you can. Spend free time being more active. Take the steps, rather than the elevator and park further from the store as a start.
- Don’t smoke. If you do, quit. Smoking is especially bad for the heart. It also causes build up of plaque in the arteries and a leading cause of heart disease.
- Get adequate sleep. Sleep is mandatory for heart health. It lets your body rest, lowers your blood pressure and lowers your heart rate. The body repairs itself when you sleep, including the heart.
- Take care of your teeth. Bacteria from gum disease is linked to an increased risk of heart disease. It can cause inflammation and that can cause a build up of blood that makes heart disease worse.
For more information, contact us today at Biofit Performance