Living with heart disease can be stressful and difficult, but there are measures you can take to reduce further damage and improve your quality of life. In honor of World Heart Day take time to consider how your choices are impacting your overall heart health.
Adopt a Healthy Lifestyle
Be sure to maintain a balanced diet full of whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Avoid foods with a high sugar and fat content as they can increase your risk for heart disease or affect your condition. Adopt a regular exercise routine for better weight management as well as improving your heart. Don’t forget the cardio! Also, work with your dietitian and doctor to create a healthy diet and exercise program that works for your body and condition. Some medications or natural supplements can be helpful in combating further damage.
Apart from all of the negative toxins found in cigarettes, and the harsh impact on your lungs, it also increases your risk of heart disease. Smoking causes a rise in blood pressure which puts you at risk for a heart attack.
Reduce Your Sodium Intake
A high salt intake can increase the stress on the blood vessels within the heart, leading to hypertension. Unfortunately, many foods on the market can be loaded with sodium, which is sometimes used as a preservative in processed foods. Try to avoid adding extra salt to your diet and read the nutrition facts to avoid the salt that may be hiding.
Manage Your Stress Levels
With the hectic lifestyle that seems normal in today’s society, stress has become a common plague. All of that pressure and stress can add strain to your heart. A good way to prevent stress is through meditative exercises or taking the time with a hobby or activity that relaxes you.
Watch Your Alcohol Intake
Increased alcohol consumption increases the risk of more heart events. If you are going to have alcohol be a part of your life, men should limit their intake to 2 drinks while women should only have 1 drink per day. If you are going to drink daily, a good choice may be red wine, which may have antioxidants to help fight free radicals.
Using these tips in combination can help you make a serious lifestyle change. If you are living with heart disease, or just want to take preventative measures, it is important to maintain a healthy diet, exercise, and avoid over-indulgence. Keep balanced and your heart will thank you!