Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States. It accounts for 20 percent of all adult deaths. What makes this statistic most tragic is that for most people heart disease is largely preventable. Don’t become a part of this devastating statistic. Here are three ways to make yourself less vulnerable to heart disease.
Regular physical activity is vital to your health and longevity. Your heart health is particularly dependent on frequent cardiovascular exercises. Cardio improves your heart health in several important ways. Exercises that get your heart pumping help your body pull oxygen more efficiently. They also lower your blood pressure and cholesterol–both of which are major indicators of heart disease. Cardio exercise also improves your circulation, which can prevent heart attacks. Furthermore, studies show that getting regular cardio workouts can decrease your likelihood of developing heart arrhythmia. Finally, regular cardiovascular exercise helps keep your weight down–an important factor in heart disease.
Your heart health starts with your diet. Western diets are often less filling and can lead to chronic disease. The best diets for cardiovascular health are whole plant-based diets. Healthy diets can also incorporate fish, seafood, and small amounts of other lean proteins, such as chicken and turkey breast. Try adding more of these foods into your diet for a healthy heart: tuna, salmon, walnuts, almonds, oranges, flaxseed, oatmeal, berries, and dark leafy greens. As you increase your consumption of these foods, try to limit heavily processed foods, saturated fat, trans fat, white flour, and sugar.
When it comes to stress, you want to stay in the Goldilocks zone for optimal health. Too little stress can be just as damaging as too much stress. If you find yourself bored much of the time, take up a hobby, learn a new skill, or begin a volunteer job. If you find yourself on the other extreme of too much stress, develop healthy ways to manage it. Yoga, meditation, talking to a friend, physical exercise, engaging in a favorite hobby, and getting out in nature are all healthy ways to relieve stress.
You can reduce your chances of getting heart disease. It is never too late to improve your habits and live a healthier lifestyle. Choose one area of your life to improve now. As you gain confidence in that, additional changes will come more easily. Remember, you are worth doing whatever it takes to feel great and live your best life!
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