We all know the basics of heart health; eat healthy food and exercise. But did you know that there are other steps you can take to keep your ticker in good condition?
These small changes will quickly become habits and you’ll soon find it easier to stick to them. If you want to change your life and put your heart health front and centre, try these small lifestyle changes.
Don’t sit still
Some doctors are predicting that are sedentary lifestyles are going to cause big problems in the future. Picture this: you get up in the morning and drive to work where you sit at your desk all day and probably even eat lunch at your desk. At the end of the day, you drive home, eat dinner and then relax in front of the TV. It doesn’t matter how much cardio you do at the weekend, you can’t run away from a sedentary week. Cycling to work, going for a walk in the evening and making sure you get up to stretch your legs throughout the day can go a long way to helping your heart health.
Obviously, this won’t apply to everyone. But if you are a smoker, you should consider quitting. Even secondhand smoke puts you at greater risk of developing heart disease later in life, and the risks to first hand smokers are even greater. If you’re struggling to quit, there are many different methods you can try. From nicotine gum and patches to vaping or even CBD oil, it’s all about finding out the best solution for you. Vaping can help you to manage your cravings far better as you’ll have the familiar feeling of a “cigarette” in your hand.
Watch your diet
When building your meals, try to focus on whole foods. Processed foods take away a lot of the natural goodness in food, which often has a negative impact on heart health. Build your meals around fresh fruit and vegetables, add some lean protein and healthy fats and then add some wholemeal grains.
Being more mindful of the food you put in your body is an essential step for good heart health.
Brush your teeth
Not many people know that healthy teeth are linked to a healthy heart. The same plaque that builds up on your teeth also builds up in your blood vessels and in your heart. If you aren’t brushing your teeth enough, you could be inhaling and ingesting plaque and bacteria which can make their way into your bloodstream. By keeping your teeth in good condition you can reduce this risk. Brush and floss twice a day, or after every meal, for the best results.
Get your Zzzs
Not getting enough sleep will not only make you grumpy the next day, but it can also even shorten your life. Researchers have found a link between long-term sleep deprivation and heart disease. If you struggle to fall asleep at night, there are a few things you can try. For starters, you need to make your room more conducive to sleep but blocking out any light and noise. Next, you should start your bedtime routine about an hour before you want to sleep. Avoid screens during this time as the artificial blue light can make your brain more alert. And finally, you could try things like chamomile tea or lavender essential oils to help you nod off.
These are just some of the things you can do to keep your heart healthy. You should also make sure you are getting plenty of regular exercise and eating a varied diet. Those with a family history of heart problems may want to take extra precautions.