The Importance of Heart Health
HOW TO TAKE CARE OF YOUR HEART HEALTH.
Cardiovascular Diseases are the world’s number one killer causing 1 in every 3 deaths. In the US alone, cardiovascular diseases are also the number 1 cause of death. One person dies every 37 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease. About 647,000 Americans die from heart disease each year—that's 1 in every 4 deaths. The explanation for heart attacks and strokes is usually the presence of a mixture of risk factors, like tobacco use, unhealthy diet and obesity, physical inactivity and use of alcohol, hypertension, diabetes, and high level of cholesterol.
It is never too late to start changing your lifestyle towards a healthier heart. Here are a few practical steps you can follow.
INCREASE REGULAR PHYSICAL ACTIVITY
Physical activity contributes to improved blood pressure, improved levels of cholesterol, and weight control. Inactive people can start with small amounts of physical activity (even as a part of their normal daily activities) and gradually increase duration and intensity.
Here are some physical activities to strengthen your heart. Please consult your physician before adding any physical activities to your routine.
Yes, it might seem a little too easy. But walking, especially speed walking, is a great way to strengthen your heart. You will get your heart rate up if you walk fast. You can walk anywhere at any time. All you need is a pair of supportive shoes.
Taking a water aerobics class or swimming laps can be a full-body workout that will strengthen your heart. Unlike other types of exercise, Swimming is easy on your joints and allows you to move your body without a lot of pain.
Building the other muscles in your body will help your heart. Training involving weights will help you build muscle mass and burn fat. Although you can hit the gym to train with weights, some of the most effective weight training happens when you use your body weight.
Interval training — which alternates between short bursts of high-intensity exercise with longer periods of active recovery — is a great way to get a full-sized workout in a short amount of time.
Although it might not seem like it, yoga is good for your heart health. Doing yoga will help you strengthen and tone your muscles. Certain types of yoga can get your heart rate high, while still providing the calm and lowering your blood pressure.
EAT A HEALTHY HEART DIET
Although you might know that eating certain foods can increase your heart disease risk, it's often tough to change your eating habits. Whether you have years of unhealthy eating under your belt or you simply want to fine-tune your diet, here are eight heart-healthy diet tips. Once you know which foods to eat more of and which foods to limit, you'll be on your way toward a heart-healthy diet.
CONTROL YOUR PORTION SIZE
How much you eat is just as important as what you eat. Overloading your plate, taking seconds, and eating until you feel stuffed can lead to eating more calories than you should. Use a small plate or bowl to help control your portions. Eat larger portions of low-calorie, nutrient-rich foods, such as fruits and vegetables, and smaller portions of high-calorie, high-sodium foods, such as refined, processed or fast foods
EAT MORE FRUITS AND VEGETABLES
Fruits and Vegetables are good sources of vitamins and minerals. They are also low in calories and rich in dietary fiber. Like other plant-based foods, they contain substances that may prevent cardiovascular diseases. Adding vegetables and fruits to your diet can be easy.
Fruits and Vegetables to choose:
- Fresh fruits and vegetables
- Low- sodium canned vegetables
- Canned fruit packed in juice and water
Fruits and Vegetables to limit
- Fried or breaded vegetables
- Vegetables with creamy sauces
- Frozen fruit with sugar added
- Canned fruit packed in heavy sauces
SELECT WHOLE GRAINS
Whole grains are good sources of fibers that play a role in regulating heart health and blood pressure. You can gradually increase the amount of whole grains in a heart-healthy diet by making simple substitutions for refined grain products.
Grain products to choose:
- Whole-grain bread
- Whole-grain pasta
- Whole grains such as brown rice, and barley
- High-fiber cereal
Grain products to limit or avoid:
- Corn Bread
- Egg noodles
- Buttered Popcorn
- White Bread
LIMIT UNHEALTHY FATS
Limiting how much fats you eat is an important step to reduce your blood cholesterol and lower your risk of cardiovascular disease.
Fats to Choose:
- Olive Oil
- Canola Oil
- Vegetable Oil
Fats to Limit
- Cream Sauce
- Bacon Fat
- Cocoa Butter
LOW-FAT PROTEIN SOURCES
Lean meat, poultry, and fish and low-fat dairy products are some of your best sources of protein. But be careful to choose lower-fat options, such as skim milk rather than whole milk and skinless chicken breasts rather than fried chicken patties.
Proteins to choose from:
- Low-fat dairy products
- Skinless poultry
- Fish, especially fatty, cold-water fish, such as salmon
Proteins to limit:
- Full-fat milk
- Organ meats, such as liver
- Fatty and marbled meats
DON’T USE TOBACCO
Tobacco use and exposure to second-hand smoke are dangerous to your heart. Quitting tobacco use is the biggest gift of health you can give to your body and has long-term benefits, including living up to 10 years longer. After a year of quitting, the risk of heart disease is about half that of a smoker. Fifteen years after quitting, the risk of heart disease is the same as that of a non-smoker.
HAVE YOUR BLOOD PRESSURE CHECKED
An important way to maintain a healthy heart is for your blood pressure and blood sugar to be checked regularly by a health worker. It is also important to talk to your health worker if you have behavioral risks so they can help you plan the lifestyle modifications you should take to get your heart health back on track.
AVOID USE OF ALCOHOL
Can a few drinks be good for your heart health? Yes, but only a few, and not for everyone. Moderate drinking -- single drink a day for women and double for men -- appears to protect some people against heart disease.
IF OVERWEIGHT, LOSE WEIGHT
It may not be easy, but weight loss has more benefits than looking good in a swimsuit. Losing even a little weight can significantly improve cardiovascular health, boost heart function, improve blood pressure, and metabolism. An obese person requires a heart that is able to pump greater amounts of blood, so the chamber size and the muscle gets thicker as well. Over time in some individuals, the heart cannot compensate, and after a while, it begins to lose some of its ability to relax or its ability to pump blood to the rest of the body. Both can lead to heart failure.
Now that we know the importance of taking care of your heart health. It is also essential to give our cardiovascular system powerful support and supplementation that we can incorporate into our routine. Please consult your physician before adding any supplements to your diet.
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Increased intake of Omega-3 Fatty acids is recommended for its wide spectrum of health effects, including but not limited to; bone and joint health, early brain development and maintenance, cognitive quality, healthy inflammatory response, and cardiovascular benefits.*
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*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
Please consult your physician before adding any physical activities or supplements to your routine and diet.