Six Great Heart Health Tips
Daily Heart Health Tips
There are many risk factors for heart attacks and strokes. Some of these (such as hereditary risks) are out of your control, but many are things that you have power over. Here are six heart health tips that you can follow in daily life to lower your risk of heart disease and stroke.
Eat Less Sodium
Researchers in the New England Journal of Medicine found that reducing dietary salt by 3 g per day (less than a teaspoon) can drastically cut the number of new cases of Coronary Heart Disease (CHD). However, the average person consumes much more than the daily recommended salt intake.
Limit your intake of salty snacks and processed foods (which often contain high levels of salt), avoid salty condiments and sauces, and read labels to check the sodium content in foods.
An active lifestyle can help your heart. Try to do at least 150 minutes of
moderate-intensity aerobic exercise each week. Exercising regularly helps control blood pressure and it reduces the risk of heart attacks and heart disease.
In addition to being more active, another heart health tip is to avoid sitting still for long periods of time. If you work at a job where you sit all day, be sure to take breaks regularly where you stand up and move around.
If you can, go for a walk at lunch instead of sitting at your desk, or do some of your meetings, phone calls, etc. while standing instead of sitting.
Live Smoke Free
One of the most important heart health tips is to avoid smoking and to quit if you currently smoke. Quitting smoking can be difficult, but there are many strategies and aids out there that can help.
You’ll also want to avoid secondhand smoke whenever possible, since being exposed to it can increase your chances of developing heart disease.
Manage your Stress
Stress can harm your body in many ways, and that includes your heart. Not only can high levels of stress increase your risk of heart disease and stroke, living a stressful life can also lead to depression, anxiety, and many other issues.
Start by recognizing what triggers your stress, then work on strategies to help you better manage it. Being physically active can help you deal with stress as can doing deep breathing exercises, eating a healthy diet, and much more.
Get Enough Sleep
Ensuring that you get enough sleep is an important heart health tip. While most adults need approximately 8 hours of sleep each night, many people get significantly less that that. However, people who sleep less than six hours a night are much more likely to have a stroke or heart attack.