14 Healthy Heart Tips
The number one cause of death worldwide, heart disease claims over 17 million lives every year. The American Heart Association predicts this number will swell to 23 million by 2013 unless more people take proactive steps to get healthier. If you’d like to improve your overall well-being and reduce your risk of early death, incorporate the following healthy heart tips into your day-to-day life.
Making a Positive Impact
There are a number of ways you can strengthen your heart and ward off potential problems down the road. Among the most effective heart health tips, include:
- Stop Smoking: One of the top controllable risk factors for heart disease, smoking drastically increases your risk of stroke, cardiovascular disease and heart attacks.
- Reduce Your Waistline: Research suggests that mass around the midsection negatively impacts blood lipids and overall heart health.
- Pick Up a Hobby: Studies indicate that engaging activities such as sewing, knitting and crocheting relieves stress and take a load off your ticker.
- Eat Fish: A mountain of research has linked fish consumption with reduced risk of heart disease.
- Tip a Glass: Moderate consumption of alcohol has been shown to reduce blood clot formation and raise HDL (good cholesterol) levels.
- Get Up and Move: A growing body of research has linked prolonged sitting to heart problems. To reduce your risk get up and move as much as possible.
- Exercise: Regular exercise is one of the best things you can do to improve your heart health. For best results, get your heart rate up for a total of 150 minutes each week.
- Learn Your Numbers: Learn your optimal levels for blood sugar, blood pressure, cholesterol and triglycerides. Keep these in line to prevent future problems.
- Eat Chocolate: Studies suggest flavonoids in cocoa help reduce blood clotting, while reducing oxidative damage to blood vessels.
- Eat Nuts: Pecans, walnuts, almonds and other nuts deliver substantial benefits when it comes to reducing bad (LDL) cholesterol.
- Get a Pet: Surprising research has shown that pet owners are less likely to die from heart disease, with many suggesting reduced stress as a potential cause.
- Cut Fat: Keep your fat intake at or below 30 percent of your daily calories to reduce your risk of cardiovascular problems.
- Drink Tea: Studies have linked green and black tea consumption to improved arterial health.
- Lift Weights: According to American Heart Association, strength training promotes healthier body mass indexes, while improving heart health.
Unfortunately, once people start to experience cardiovascular problems, improvement can be difficult. Like most things in life, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Even if you’re young and in good shape, make positive lifestyle changes now to ensure that your heart stays healthy as you age.