It should not come as any surprise that heart disease is among the leading causes of death in the United States. The frantic lifestyle that most of us are forced to live can easily take its toll on our heart. This does not mean that we need accept heart problems as a fact of life. There are several simple steps that each one of us can take for a healthy heart. These steps can be taken whether you live a frantic life or a more relaxed one.
1) Eat Healthy!
Diet is one of the hardest things for most of us to control. It is easy to become so set in our ways that we become closed to new ideas. However, there are some small changes that you may be able to make with out cutting out the roods that you love the most. My philosophy has always been to eat in moderation what you want. The catch, however, is the size of the portions. At least half of the food that you eat should consist of fruit and vegetables, preferably raw.
Simply starting out your meal with a nice sized salad, or eating some of your favorite fruit shortly before a meal can make a huge difference!
If you are not crazy over vegetables you may want to try experimenting with the way you prepare them. For example you can try to “hide” them in an omelet, stir fry, or casserole. Use your imagination, or better yet a good cookbook!
2) Eat The Right Kinds Of Fats
It is common to hear that all fat is bad for your heart, this is not true. There are several foods that actually have good fat in them that favors cardiovascular health. My personal favorite is Salmon, other fish choices are sardines and cod. If you don’t like fish you may want to try snacking on seeds or nuts. While you should avoid vegetable oil olive, coconut, and flaxseed oils are actually good for the heart.
The importance of exercise can not be emphasized enough. Your life does not have to center around physical activities, however, you should exercise for at least 20 minutes four to five times a week. Choose an activity that you enjoy and that will modestly accelerate your heart beat.
4) Don’t Stress
Stress is bad news for your health! Stop stressing, stop sweating the small stuff and relax. Meditation, yoga, deep breathing, laughing out loud, knitting, praying are all stress relievers. Do what makes you feel good and work at keeping that stress at bay.
5) Get Enough Sleep
Not getting enough sleep is damaging to your heart. According to experts we need 7 hours of sleep each night on average, so go to bed on time. Make sure you have light blocking curtains in your bedroom and reduce the noise as much as you can. Having trouble sleeping? Consider buying a white noise machine or practice deep breathing or meditation.
It may seem difficult to make these changes in your life, however, if you give it a try they will shortly become habits that will come to you automatically. Not only will you feel better, but you will also be able to enjoy a healthy heart long into the future.