Your heart is the hardest working muscle of your body. It works round the clock to keep you active and alive. With such vital functions on its sleeves, it is of utmost importance to keep your heart healthy and strong. While we all know and understand the importance of a healthy heart, heart disease is still the number one killer in both men and women. In fact, according to the American Heart Association, every year one in four people die of a heart disease.
With February marking both the American Heart Month and Valentine’s Day, this is the perfect time to ensure that your heart is happy and healthy. Here are 5 health vows you must take to keep your heart beating at its best.
1. Follow a heart-healthy diet
Healthy food is good not only for your waistline, but your heart too. Good eating habits can help lower your risk of heart disease to a great extend. So, swap your burgers and pizzas for a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, legumes, and low-fat dairy products. Also, limit the intake of processed and ready-to-eat foods, which are high in salt, sugar, and saturated fats.
To maintain a good cardiovascular health:
- Drink at least 8 glasses of water every day.
- Include a variety of whole grains, beans, nuts, and legumes in your diet.
- Limit red meat, bacon, cold cuts, and other processed meats; choose fish and poultry instead.
- Eat a plenty of fruits and vegetables of all colors.
- Reduce the amount of salt and sugar in your food.
2. Exercise often
Numerous studies have time and again proved that people who exercise regularly are less prone to heart attacks than people who don’t. So, try to include at least 40-45 minutes of moderate-to-intense levels of exercise in your daily routine. Walking, running, jogging, swimming, cycling, or playing your favorite sport, the list of physical activities is practically endless. Choose the one that suits you the best and make your workout sessions fun and enjoyable.
3. Quit smoking
Smoking causes your blood vessels to constrict and decreases the supply of oxygen to your body. In fact, smoking is one of the main causes of cardiovascular diseases. Simply cutting back on cigarettes or switching to low-nicotine brands is not enough. For a healthy heart, you need to quit smoking completely and once you stop smoking, your risk of developing a heart disease starts to drop immediately.
If you want to give up smoking but are unable to do so, get in touch with your health care physician and get comprehensive medical assistance to stay smoke-free.
4. Live stress-free
Stress is the biggest catalyst in causing heart-associated ailments. It leads to high cholesterol and increased blood pressure, which eventually cause heart diseases. To keep your heart healthy, try to stay as much stress free as possible. Take a digital break from your phone, TV, computer, and other devices. Meditate, listen to music, take a walk, and sleep for at least 6-8 hours to cope up with your everyday stress.
If you still feel overwhelmed due to stressful events or find it difficult to maintain a healthy work-life balance, speak to your healthcare practitioner for easy ways to manage stress.
5.Know your numbers
The easiest way to maintain a healthy heart is by being aware of your blood sugar, cholesterol, and blood pressure numbers. The best way to do this is by regularly getting yourself examined by a primary physician. This will help you keep your vitals under check and within a healthy range.
If it’s been a while you have visited your doctor to get your blood pressure, cholesterol or BMI checked, visit EPIC Health today and schedule a thorough heart checkup with our cardiovascular specialists.
We, at EPIC, are committed to delivering outstanding and comprehensive heart and cardiovascular care. With a team of certified doctors, health care practitioners, nutritionists, and exercise physiologists, we closely monitor your heart health to keep it healthy and disease-free.
Also view our presentation on Heart and Cardiovascular Care at EPIC Health