30 Things to Start Doing Now to Help Your Heart
We always want to be our best selves. So, we work hard to eat healthy, exercise often, and improve our overall health. Along with that comes the need to help your heart too! When we think of making a positive change to our health, we instantly think of vegetables and going for a run. But there are plenty of other options out there that can work to improve your heart health and get that blood-pumper in better condition! Here are 30 things to start doing now to help your heart for the long term!
Did you know that the downward dog position is good for your heart to boost your circulation? Not only that, but doing yoga can help to relieve stress and bring down high blood pressure!
The less tension you have the less stressed you will feel. Massage will relax you and remove physical stress from your body. When your body feels more relaxed, so does your heart!
3. Add More Vegetables
Vegetables are a great and easy way to start improving your heart health. Potatoes, carrots, onions, squash, sweet potatoes, and garlic are all vegetables that specifically help your heart!
4. Take a Long Walk
Although going for a run is an excellent cardio option, make your exercise an enjoyable experience. Find a friend or loved one and take a long walk in a local park.
5. Laugh a Little
What makes you laugh? A silly animal video on YouTube or a comedy routine? Whatever it is that gets you giggling, laughter helps your heart by reducing the amount of stress hormones produced in the brain.
6. Spend Time with Your Pets
When you spend time with your pets it can actually reduce your stress levels! Go and snuggle with your dog or cat and there will be less stress in your life!
7. Stop Smoking
Smoking hurts our bodies in so many ways, but our heart is one of the biggest things to suffer. Take a serious look at your habits and speak to your doctor about truly quitting!
8. Eat Some Nuts
Recent studies found that the proteins in nuts and seeds have a positive impact on our heart health! We used to believe that red meat was the best, but these new findings are suggesting that nuts are the way to go.
9. Reduce the Sugar
Have some sweets lying around? Tempted by that new sweet Starbucks drink? Resist! Blood vessels are damaged by the glucose in your blood! Reduce your sugar intake and give your blood vessels a longer life!
10. Take a Cat Nap
After a busy or stressful day from work, take a nap! A short nap can give you the extra boost you need as well as reduce your stress – therefore also helping your heart!
11. Identify Stressors in Your Life
If you know morning meetings stress you out, take some time beforehand to calm yourself down. Not sure how to reduce the stress? Speak to a psychologist for stress-reducing strategies that will help your heart!
12. Get Yearly Checkups
Haven’t seen the doctor in a while? It is time to set up an appointment! Seeing your doctor for yearly check-ups can help them monitor your condition and keep track of any problems you may be having.
13. Have an AED Nearby
If you often find yourself anxious about what you would do if a heart emergency occurred near you, reduce the stress! Have an AED in your location to feel safer and more prepared for an emergency. Plus, less anxiety will result in a healthier heart!
14. Don’t Sit Too Long
Our bodies need movement and exercise to improve heart health. When we sit too long, our blood moves slower and therefore can result in clots. Some research even suggests that sitting too long may be linked to high blood pressure!
15. Know Your Blood Pressure Levels
Do you know that you have high blood pressure? Than you can take action to lower it! Being informed is necessary to move in a healthy direction.
16. Eat some Chocolate
One of the easiest (and most enjoyable) things you can do for your heart is to eat some chocolate! Chocolate contains flavonoids which have been found to aid in protecting your cardiovascular system. Remember, moderation is key!
17. Remove Negative Influences in Your Life
When certain things/people are getting you down or always seem to dwell on the bad things in life, try to remove these influences. Stress and depression are linked to heart disease, so by decreasing the negativity, you will help your heart!
18. Drink More Water
Drinking water is one of those things that helps our whole body! It helps our mind, our skin, our weight, and our heart! Drinking enough water each day helps your blood flow easier.
19. Find an Exercise You Enjoy
Losing excess weight can be difficult if you do not enjoy the exercise. Find an activity that you can have fun with! Kickboxing, Zumba, squash, soccer – whatever it is, get excited about going and working your body and heart!
20. Reduce the Salt Intake
With access to packaged foods and fast-food options, our salt intake is often much higher than it should be. Reduce the amount of salt you eat and this, in turn, will lower and maintain a healthy blood pressure.
21. Listen to some Music
Some studies have found that listening to music can actually lower blood pressure. Put on your favourite tunes and even dance if you want! Dancing is also a great way to keep moving and reduce stress!
22. Breathe Better
Although our bodies are programmed to breathe without us thinking about it, we often don’t breathe properly! If we are anxious we can have shallow breaths. Improve your breathing and improve your heart health!
23. Get Intimate!
It may seem odd, but a little intimacy can go a long way for your heart! Research has found that men who were intimate at least twice a week, were less likely to develop heart disease.
24. Develop a Positive Attitude
Staying positive has been found to greatly improve mood and perspective. Even if you have to force yourself to think of the silver lining, it is a change that will eventually affect your behaviour and then help your heart!
25. Reduce Alcohol Intake
A glass of red wine or a beer every now and then isn’t going to kill you (in fact a bit of red wine can even help your heart!). But it is good to be aware that drinking too much can increase your heart rate, blood pressure, and weaken the heart muscles.
26. Goodbye Coffee, Hello Tea
Some teas contain anti-inflammatory properties that can help to reduce the risk of heart disease. As long as you are avoiding excessive amounts of sugar (consider raw natural honey instead), tea is a wonderful way to help your heart!
27. Avoid Trans Fats
There are such things as good cholesterol (HDL) and bad cholesterol (LDL) and eating too many foods that are high in trans fats will increase the bad kind! When your cholesterol is poor then your risk for heart disease increases.
28. Improve Mental Health
The head and the heart are directly connected. When your mental health is poor, your cardiac health also declines. The adrenaline caused by stress and anxiety will increase your blood pressure, which can eventually weaken your heart!
29. Go Outside for Some Fresh Air
Simply the act of getting out and enjoying the air is good for you! If we are outside it means we are moving around, getting off our back-ends, stretching, and breathing in some natural air.
30. Love Yourself
Say goodbye to negative thoughts, harsh expectations, and low-blows to your self-esteem. Instead raise your happiness and love levels by telling yourself how wonderful you truly are! You and your heart deserve it!
Apply these 30 things to your life right away and you will come out feeling much better about your health, your heart, and yourself. Help your heart – it’s the only one you’ve got!