7 Diet and Lifestyle Changes You Can Make to Boost Heart Health

Healthy diet and good lifestyle choices are key to maintain heart health. (Image via Unsplash/Brooke Lark)
Healthy diet and good lifestyle choices are key to maintain heart health. (Image via Unsplash/Brooke Lark)

Heart health is not something you can improve overnight; it depends on the lifestyle choices you make and the diet you follow. Maintaining a healthy heart is something you need to work on every day.

Heart disease is the leading disease in America. One of the biggest factors contributing to heart disease is poor lifestyle choices. It includes making choices about food, work, mobility and so on. Choices such as smoking, poor diet and no physical activity negatively impact heart health.

A healthy lifestyle can go a long way in reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease and maintaining the overall health of the body.


Diet and Lifestyle Changes for Heart Health

Here are seven diet and lifestyle changes you can incorporate to boost your heart health:

1) Physical Activity

Staying active is one of the integral components to maintain and boost heart health. Studies have shown that regular exercise prevents the development of cardiovascular diseases considerably.

Regular exercise helps in the effective management of the factors contributing to heart disease, such as blood pressure, weight, cholesterol level and inflammation.

Physical activity can not only boost heart health but also reduce the risks associated with cardiovascular diseases. You can also start with small steps, such as walking or stretching before advancing towards a better workout regime.


2) Healthy Body Weight

Maintaining a healthy body weight is important for good heart health. Obesity is often associated with a greater risk of metabolic syndrome, hypertension and diabetes. That increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Therefore, maintaining a healthy body weight is necessary for good heart health.

Body Mass Index is often used to assess healthy body weight, according to the height of a person. Additionally, you can also take steps to maintain body weight, such as clean eating habits, regular workouts, drinking a good amount of water, and more.


3) Well-Rounded Diet

The food that you eat tends to have a high impact on heart health, as it impacts risk factors, such as blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

To boost your heart health, you should choose a nutrient-filled diet, such as fruits, vegetables and whole grain foods. Some of these foods also help in decreasing the risk factors. For instance, jicama and collard greens are healthy foods for your heart and should be included in your diet.

Alternatively, you should control the intake of foods such as red meat and sweetened beverages. Overconsumption of these products tends to be harmful for heart and overall health of the body.


4) Avoid Smoking

Smoking is one of the leading contributors to cardiovascular disease. It can completely mess with your heart health and other bodily functions. Even passive smoke raises the risk of cardiovascular diseases by approximately 30 percent.

If you're a regular smoker, you need to quit smoking to reduce the risk of heart disease. Craft a careful strategy and support system that'll help you quit smoking.


5) Improve Sleep Schedule

Poor sleep schedule and sleep disorders such as sleep apnea affects the body, increasing the chances of cardiovascular disease.

You must take action to improve your sleep quality, which in turn will boost your heart health. Some of the measures you can take for sound sleep are avoiding caffeine, adopting relaxing bedtime routines, having minimal disruptions, and so on.


6) Reduce Stress

Stress tends to be a direct risk factor for cardiovascular diseases. High levels of stress can trigger negative responses from the body, such as decreased blood flow, high blood pressure and irregular heart health. Stress can also contribute to weight gain and poor sleep schedule.

So, make sure to incorporate some of the stress-relieving measures in your lifestyle to boost heart health, such as yoga and self-care.


7) Regular Check-Ups

Regular check-ups with the doctor, especially for older people, will allow identifying health issues, if any, at an early age. That will allow you to take proper medication and steps to improve your heart health.


Takeaway

Age does not matter in maintaining good heart health. You are never too young or too old to make lifestyle and diet changes to boost your heart health. Having good sleep, better nutrition, reduced stress and effective weight management can help you maintain a healthy heart.

However, consultation with a medical professional will provide you with better input and direction. So, make sure to consult your doctor before making any drastic changes to your lifestyle.

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Edited by Bhargav