According to the American Heart Association, cardiovascular(heart) disease is the leading global cause of death, accounting for more than 17.3 million deaths per year, a number that is expected to grow to more than 23.6 million by 2030. Cardiovascular diseases claim more lives than all forms of cancer combined.
Want to know the real secret for the fountain of youth that will help decrease your risk of cardiovascular disease ? Keep your heart healthy! Half of Americans have at least one risk factor for heart disease such as high blood pressure, excess weight or high triglycerides. While you can’t change your genetic makeup, you can change your external risk factors. Even making a few easy changes can have a big impact on your health and quality of life. Your heart works hard every day, take good care of it in return!
Here are 25 easy ways to improve your heart health:
This one may not be easy but there are plenty of resources to help you quit like The American Lung Association’s “How to Quit Smoking” page.
Take a walk
Sitting is the new smoking and walking is an easy way get reduce health risks and get your blood flowing. Check out 11 Ways to Walk More for ideas on how to fit more walking into your day.
Know your numbers
Prevent heart disease by keeping blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol, and triglycerides within the healthy range. You can do this by getting an annual physical and talking to your doctor about what these numbers mean for you.
Watch your weight
Reaching and maintaining a healthy weight is one of the best ways to keep your heart healthy. Our Precision Body Fat Bathroom Scale helps you keep an eye on your weight and provides information on body fat, muscle mass, body water and other important health matrixes.
Move that body
Pick an activity you enjoy and get moving! Optimally, you should aim for 30 minutes a day most days of the week but even just 10 minutes of activity can lower your blood pressure.
Eating fatty fish, like salmon, twice a week provides omega 3 fatty acids that improve your heart health.
Bust heart-damaging stress with laughter! A good laugh also promotes healthy blood flow in the vessels. So go ahead, search for your favorite videos on Youtube or Comedy Central!
Practicing yoga stretches out your muscles, has a positive impact on your heart rate and leaves you feeling calm.
Skip the salt
Reduce salt intake to half a teaspoon per day to lower the risk of coronary heart disease.
Eat your oats
Choose whole grains to add soluble fiber to your diet. They can help lower LDL cholesterol. Check out these ten delicious recipes from The Daily Burn!
Play with your pet
Pet owners tend to have lower stress and anxiety levels which may improve heart and lung function. Plus walking a dog gets you moving every day! An alternative for those who can’t keep a pet is to volunteer to walk or run with dog at a local shelter.
Loneliness and isolation have a negative impact on your heart that is similar to the effects of smoking, obesity and lack of exercise. Make a date with friends, find an interesting meet up group on meetup.com or volunteer somewhere that will provide fun and positive interactions with others.
Go fast and then slow down
Interval training-speed bursts followed by a recovery pace, gives you greater cardiovascular benefits in less time.
Eat lean meat
Yes, you can enjoy meat in moderation, however choose lean cuts and watch portion sizes. Our Precision Pro Kitchen Scale is a handy tool for correctly measuring proper portion sizes.
Taste the rainbow
Choose a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables for a wide range of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. They are also low in calories and full of fiber, making you less likely to snack on junk foods.
Enjoy tea time
Both green and black teas have been shown to improve the health of your arteries. Green, black and white teas should be brewed at different temperatures. Our Precision Pro Digital Thermometer can help you make the perfect cup of tea.
Brush your teeth and floss regularly
Periodontal disease has been directly linked to several types of coronary disease.
Don’t fear all fats
Your body needs some fat in order to function but too much saturated or trans fat leads to heart disease. Choose heart healthy monounsaturated fats, such as canola or olive oil, and polyunsaturated fats, such as those found in avocados, nuts and some fish.
Hit the weights
Cardio is important for heart health and so is strength training! It helps with weight control, insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance.
Whether you take a walk or sit outside to enjoy your lunch being outside in nature helps naturally reduce stress levels.
Have some fun with exercise
Stop looking at exercise as something you have to do and think of it as something you get to do. Eliminate the term “work out” and just go play. Activities such as playing Frisbee, bike riding and roller skating all burn calories and get the heart pumping. Want something more organized? Check out Sportsvite to find a league near you.
Get some rest
In addition to making your irritable, lack of sleep can alter your metabolism, leading to weight gain, diabetes, and heart disease.
Take a technology break
Email, texts and social media all increase stress levels. Skip reaching for your phone first thing in the morning and take time to stretch, do breathing exercises or read something positive.
Alcohol can have a positive impact on your heart but only when consumed in moderation. This means one glass per day for women and two for men.
Enjoy a little chocolate
Dark chocolate has heart healthy flavonoids, so enjoy a square of chocolate that’s at least 72% cacao.
Have you recently made a positive change for your health? Tweet it to us at @eatsmartscales.