5 Tricks for Better Heart Health as Told by a Cardiovascular Doctor

Did you know that cardiovascular diseases are the number 1 cause of death around the world?

As you age, you become more susceptible to heart diseases. It’s especially when you have an unhealthy diet and lifestyle. It isn’t too late since you can always get yourself checked by a cardiovascular doctor.

Don’t ignore your heart’s health.

With this guide, you’ll learn some invaluable tips to maintain your cardiovascular system’s health. That way, you feel more motivated to turn toward a healthier lifestyle. Read on and find out more:

1. Walk Daily and Do Strength Training a Few Times Each Week

Cardiovascular exercises act like your body’s first defense against various cardiovascular diseases. Among these, walking is the simplest way. After all, you can do it regardless of your location, be it outdoors or indoors using a treadmill.

Walking prevents heart diseases even when it has less intense modality compared to other cardio exercises. It means you can retain benefits inherent with more intense exercises like jogging, cycling, and hiking. Also, you’re more likely to stick to a walking exercise plan compared to others, making it a viable method in the long run.

If you want to further improve your health, walk harder, and start with resistance training. If you lift weights for less than an hour each week, your risk of getting a stroke decreases by up to 70%. This doesn’t account for other aerobic exercises.

The reason this happens is because of how weightlifting alters your body’s composition. After all, weightlifting means building more muscle while losing more fat. Excessive body fat is one of the primary reasons for getting heart disease.

It means doing any exercise will aid in reducing your body fat. The best part is you need not buy fancy equipment when you’re strength training. You can do air squats, lunges, push-ups, and other bodyweight exercises. These will give you the same benefits of strength training at home.

2. Eat Healthy and Limit Heart Illness-Related Foods

The good news is that lots of delicious foods out there can benefit your heart health. For example, you can get a diet with lots of whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Augment it with lean protein and healthy fats from fish, seeds, and oils.

Do you have no access to fresh produce? If so, the frozen and canned versions of fruits and vegetables can work too. Always watch out for the salt content of these products when you eat them.

Balance your energy expenditure and calorie intake. Take note, you must maintain a healthy body weight while eating healthy foods. A good template to follow is the Mediterranean diet.

As for the foods you must avoid, these include high-fat and high-sugar foods. Examples of these include potato chips and other sweet desserts. While you’re at it, avoid processed foods as much as you can, like fast food and boxed snacks.

To determine whether a food item is good for your heart, see whether it has trans fats and high-fructose corn syrup as one of its ingredients. These are unhealthy because the former increases the bad cholesterol levels in your blood. The latter increases your risk factors related to some heart diseases.

3. Quit Smoking and Limit Alcohol

Regardless of where you are, you know that smoking only induces detrimental effects to your health. This includes your heart since this vice is one of the major causes of heart attacks and strokes. It’s because smoking will worsen your cardiovascular system.

This activity does so in some ways, like building plaque in your arteries. It also modifies your blood chemistry, thickening the blood. The worst part is that smoking results in permanent damage to your heart muscles.

As for alcohol, remember that excessive drinking is what makes it bad for your heart. If you binge drink, you’re likely to get hypertension, stroke, and coronary artery illnesses. The exact risk level will vary since it depends on both the quantity and pattern of alcohol intake.

To drink in moderation, you must drink a maximum of one glass per day for women and two for men. If you think red wine is an exception, know that the link between better heart health and this liquor isn’t concrete.

4. Keep Your Stress Levels Low

If you have high levels of chronic stress, you lean more toward unhealthy coping habits. This means you’ll do all the unhealthy behaviors mentioned above. This condition also affects your body’s resting and sleeping capabilities negatively.

Some researchers also found a unique heart attack related to stress, the takotsubo cardiomyopathy. Most accomplished cardiovascular associates doctor like Kenneth Chien link this condition to emotional trauma. But lots of patients often show no identifiable cause when getting this condition.

That’s why you must never underestimate the negative effects of stress on your heart health. Stress is inevitable sometimes, but dealing with it is more important. Learn various stress-relief methods to overcome duress.

5. Prioritize a Healthy Sleeping Pattern

Sleep is a miracle medicine alongside exercising. It’s because you’re more likely to get heart disease if you deprive yourself of sleep. That’s why most people with insomnia and sleep apnea often have heart diseases.

Also, the quality and duration of your sleep will directly affect your blood pressure. As for indirect effects, you’re more likely to choose food poorly and become unmotivated with exercises. This will lead to an increased risk of heart disorders.

See a Cardiovascular Doctor Regularly

At the very least, schedule an annual checkup with your doctor. They will do some tests that determine critical health markers and track your heart health. If any symptom arises, never hesitate and ask your doctor for more clarification.

Take Care of Your Heart Today!

These are some things you must do to improve your heart’s health. If you’re unsure of how to start, always ask your cardiovascular doctor for more tips.

Did our health guide help you with learning how to take better care of your heart? If so, please consider looking into our library of posts right here and learn more helpful tips and tricks to improve your health.