Looking after your heart is vital if you want to live a long and healthy life. Heart disease is by far the most common cause of premature death around the world. Here are just five ways to protect your heart.
Stress is one of the biggest causes of heart disease. When we are stressed we release cortisol and adrenaline, which causes our blood pressure to increase. Our heart has to work harder to deal with this increased pressure. This is okay for a short period, but not on a regular basis. Such prolonged stress causes the heart to constantly work in overdrive in order to deal with the heightened blood pressure, wearing it out more quickly. Reducing stress triggers from your life could allow your heart to repair itself. This could include quitting a high pressure job or getting out of a stressful relationship. Small stress relievers meanwhile such as having a bath or meditating can make a big difference too.
Your heart is a muscle and like other muscles in your body it can grow stronger by regularly exercising it. Cardiovascular exercise such as running long distance, swimming, cycling and skiing is all ideal for this purpose, however you may be able to make an impact simply by walking around more often. You can over exercise your heart, but quite frankly you need to be doing a crazy amount of physical activity for this to be a risk. For most of us, doing more exercise could be more advantageous.
Foods that are high in fat or sugar can take their toll on the heart by making it more flabby. Any food that makes the rest of your body fat will also have the same effect on your heart. There are healthy fats out there such as omega-3, which are good for your heart. Leafy greens, oatmeal, berries and dark chocolate are also good for the heart due to containing all the nutrients needed to build and repair this organ.
Too much alcohol can raise your blood pressure, weaken the heart muscles and cause the heart to beat irregularly. All of this increases the risk of heart disease. Combating alcohol abuse can help you to strengthen your heart and lower the risk of heart disease. This includes bingeing or drinking on regular basis. The odd drink most likely won’t hurt you – in fact a glass of red wine on the odd occasion can be healthy for your heart.
The final danger to be wary of is smoking. This bad habit destroys the lining of our arteries and causes fat to build up. Smoking has been linked to conditions such as angina, heart attacks and strokes. Quitting smoking could help to give your heart and arteries time to repair themselves and lower the risk of heart disease.