5 Ways to Improve Your Heart Health Now
Improving your health begins with the small stuff. These seemingly insignificant changes ultimately lead to a more enjoyable, healthier and longer life. Whether you are young, old, single or married, don’t you want the best quality of life possible? Start by making decisions about your heart health now.
1. Increase your physical activity.
- Instead of following up a delicious meal with a seat in front of the television, take a walk. This is a simple way to get your metabolism going. Bring a partner along with you and turn the walk around your neighborhood or local park into a great time to catch up with your spouse or friend.
- Make your children’s playtime yours as well. Chances are your little ones aren’t even aware of the number of calories burnt playing tag; don’t hesitate to join in on the fun!
- Get a nice workout during your next visit to the grocery store. When you park your car, select a location that is far from the entrance of the store. You’ll be forced to walk a longer distance to purchase the items you need. You’ll walk this same distance to get back to your car. This is the kind of workout where quitting is not an option. If you do, then, well, you won’t make it home.
- Put yourself into the mindset of exercising according to a schedule. It can be difficult, but if you can get in at least 30 – 45 minutes of workout at a rate of at least three to four days a week, you will greatly increase your health. Leaving behind a sedentary lifestyle in favor an active one will do wonders for your overall health as well as your figure.
2. Edit your diet.
- It’s been stated time and again – breakfast is the most important meal of the day. This is because it kick starts the metabolism. Why would you want to begin your day with a bowl full of sugar? A large number of cereals on the market, no matter how delicious they may be, are essentially just that: almost entirely consisting of sugar. Opt for breakfast items like steel cut oatmeal. This is a nutritious alternative. Other breakfast choices include Greek yogurt, eggs or fresh fruit.
- Avoid foods that are high in empty calories. These are the calories that derive from sugars and fats but provide little to no nutritional value. Fatty foods such as cookies, fried foods, and pizza are notorious offenders. The same applies to sugary beverages as well. Choose the healthier options to these foods and drinks. Drink water instead of sodas and eat baked foods for example, rather than fried foods.
3. Add heart healthy supplements.
Lowering your cholesterol can greatly decrease your risk for heart disease. There are a number of supplements that can help in this process. Some of the most common supplements are:
- Green Tea Extract
- C-complex Vitamins (which include B6, B12 and folic acid)
- Fish Oils
Because everyone’s body reacts differently to supplements, particularly pregnant women and those on a prescription regimen, it is wise to speak with your doctor before taking these supplements.
4. Consider preventive screenings.
Preventive screenings are a good idea because they have the potential to save you or your loved one’s life. Recognizing early signs of disease can lead to treatment before any kind of medical condition develops. Annual visits to see a physician are important and become even more so with age. Be sure to take care of yourself and to make an appointment to see a doctor at least once a year.
5. Smile, laugh, relax!
Laugh your way to a smaller waist? Not only has it been found that laughter burns an average of about 10 – 40 calories, but it is good for your heart too! Taking a moment to relax and laugh at your favorite television show or your child’s latest shenanigans will help relieve stress. When you’ve had a long or stressful day at work, it may be exactly what you need to make both your body and soul a little happier.
Begin incorporating these activities into your daily life and see the results. You will feel much better after making these simple but useful adjustments to your everyday life and your heart will thank you for it!
Disclaimer: This post was written by Carolyn Heintz, a health blogger over at Lifelong Health and Wellness.