It’s heart awareness month, so let’s talk about heart disease which is currently the leading factor of death for both males and females in the United States (CDC). In fact, the same source reports 600,000 people in the US die every year due to heart disease. These are numbers which require us to talk about the importance of a healthy heart. Doctors suggest activities that can help you keep your heart in check, with exercise and sleep at the top of the list. Here are a few more tips that are less commonly known, but equally important.
- Cutting the salt: Cook your meals with less salt and use it sparingly on the table too. The taste will take some getting used to, but gradually you’ll become used to flavors without needing salt and the diet will favor your heart.
- Oily fish: Mackerel and sardines are an excellent source of omega 3 fatty acids which helps fend off heart diseases.
- Less stress: Mental stress has a direct effect on blood pressure, which in turn has an effect on our hearts. Under such conditions, do activities that relieve stress such as walking, exercising, or sports.
- Healthy portions: Add more fruits and vegetables to your diet. The natural nutrients and vitamins that they contain benefit the body in a variety of ways and stop the buildup of unnatural fats.
- Stop smoking: There is no two ways about it. Stop smoking and your lungs will get healthier which means the blood exchange between the heart and the lungs will become smoother.
- Be aware of blood pressure: There are some signs that tell you if your blood pressure is too high or too low. Do not let it reach unhealthy levels. Monitor it regularly and visit medical consultants or more advice. They will guide you on diets and exercise that complement your blood pressure and physical health.
There are, of course, more steps we can take but it begins with awareness so it is important that we start taking small steps as we aim for a healthy heart.