Have you recently been diagnosed with heart disease? Are you hoping to prevent future problems with your cardiovascular system? Either way, learning how to improve heart health is a smart idea – it’s also refreshingly easy! When working toward this goal, some determined souls dive in headfirst and completely revamp their lifestyle. While that is an option, it is not the only way to boost the strength of your heart, so don’t let it intimidate you. By making some relatively small changes in your daily life, you can improve the condition of your heart. The more healthy changes you make, the more you can positively impact this all-important organ. Are you ready to discover how to improve heart health?
How to Improve Heart Health
Take a Walk
The heart is a muscle, so it gets stronger with exercise. If you don’t normally work out, taking a stroll is an excellent way to start developing the habit. For those who already have an exercise routine, a walk can be a great addition to your daily regimen.
Lift It Up
Strength training increases blood flow, builds lean muscle, and lowers blood pressure and cholesterol. Choose a weight-training routine that is appropriate for your body, consulting a doctor or personal trainer if needed. If your strength is at a low ebb, even lifting a two-pound weight can be helpful. Increase the amount you lift as you gain strength.
A few minutes of slow, deep breathing promotes relaxation. It can also lower blood pressure and help you manage your stress levels, which makes it good for your heart.
Wash Your Hands
Many common illnesses can be hard on the heart. Scrubbing your hands with hot, sudsy water is a time-tested way to get rid of germs and bacteria that might otherwise make you sick.
Eat More Fruits and Vegetables
Overhauling your diet can be an overwhelming prospect, but anyone can eat an apple a day, slice half a banana onto their morning cereal, or add an extra serving of carrots to their dinner plate. Fruits and veggies contain nutrients that are good for virtually every part of the body, including the heart.
Indulge with Dark Chocolate
Did you know that daily consumption of dark chocolate is linked with a lower risk of heart disease and stroke in high-risk individuals? It seems that cocoa, a primary ingredient in chocolate, contains antioxidant compounds called flavanoids. Flavanoids have antihypertensive and anti-inflammatory effects, which can reduce the heart’s stress and result in lower blood pressure. So indulge your inner chocoholic with a moderate piece of dark chocolate each day.
Fish and other kinds of seafood offer a delicious and heart-healthy alternative to red meat. They’re a great source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids, which benefit the heart health by decreasing the risk of abnormal heartbeats, lowering triglyceride levels, and slowing the growth rate of atherosclerotic plaque (source). Aim to sample the fruits of the sea at least two times a week, and your brain, your heart, and your waistline will all benefit.
The mind is a powerful thing, and emotions can have a major impact on health. Crushing stress, continual worrying, chronic anger, and persistent hostility have been linked with high blood pressure and heart disease. Conversely, positive emotions are associated with greater well-being, longer life, and better health. Taking a few minutes each day to think about the good things in your life can truly be good for your heart.
If you’d like to learn more about how to improve heart health, talk with your medical team about the options that are right for your specific situation. Cardiologists are excellent resources, but they aren’t the only ones who can advise you. Primary-care doctors, home health care providers, and even hospice workers can provide advice, insight, and support as you work to learn how to improve heart health and your quality of life.
Finally, if you’re in need of a home health care provider, get in touch with Phoenix Home Care. Our caregivers and clinicians work with patients in the comfort of their own homes, providing the same level of care they would receive in a traditional facility. We have a team of licensed professionals that serve individuals in four states: Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, and Colorado. To learn more about our services, get in touch with us at 855-881-7442, or visit us online. We look forward to connecting with you.