Heart disease is a major health concern these days. It affects millions of people every year. Help keep your heart healthy by following a few of these tips. Important: Consult with your physician before you change your diet or start any exercise program.
Reduce the amount of sodium intake. Sodium is an essential part of our diets but very little is actually needed. Too much sodium in your diet can lead to high blood pressure and a greater risk of heart disease or stroke. Try to prepare or choose foods with little or no salt. Read food labels carefully and eat lots of fruits and vegetables.
Drink a lot of water. We all know that water is essential for us to survive. And we’ve all heard the saying drink eight glasses or more a day. Well water can also benefit our hearts. Drinking water can help prevent heart disease and stroke because it helps prevent arteries in the heart and brain from clogging.
Quit smoking. Smoking is a major cause of cardiovascular disease. Smoking can cause a buildup of fatty substances in your arteries, this is called atherosclerosis. You greatly increase your risk of a heart attack by continuing to smoke. The longer you continue to smoke the greater the chance of having an attack.
Get regular exercise. Being inactive is a major risk factor for heart disease. Exercise strengthens your heart and helps improve blood circulation. Aerobic exercises are better for your heart, these can include walking or jogging, low-impact aerobics, cycling and jumping rope. You should exercise for about 20 to 30 minutes three to four times a week.
Limit the amount of caffeine. There are still some conflicting studies concerning coffee and caffeine and it’s effect on the heart. It has been shown that caffeine elevates blood pressure so try to reduce the amount of liquid containing caffeine you drink.
Avoid drinking alcohol. Yeah I know that’s easier said than done but too much alcohol can lead to high blood pressure and heart failure. Excessive drinking can also lead to stroke. If you do drink, do so in moderation, one or two drinks for men and one for women.
Get enough sleep. Sleep is important for so many reasons and that includes heart health. Some studies have shown that not getting the proper amounts of sleep, at least seven hours, can cause arteries to become clogged. Surprisingly some studies have also shown that sleeping more than seven hours can also cause this build up. So take note of the time you sleep and if you have problems sleeping consult a doctor.
Try to maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight is a major risk factor for heart disease or heart attacks. Even if you’re only overweight by 20% this can still increase your risk, obesity itself can raise the risk of heart problems. So what should you do? How about starting an exercise program and eating a healthier diet. Do not start a strenuous program, start of with light exercises and follow some of the other tips above.
Once again do not start any exercise program or diet change without first consulting a physician. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S. There are some things that you can do to help you live a longer fuller life. Get help as soon as you can.