Heart disease kills more Americans than any other chronic medical condition. It is the leading cause of death among Americans age 45 and younger. The good news is that with a little planning and preparation, you can keep your heart healthy and look great doing it! Heart health should be part of every adult’s everyday routine. It just makes sense, right? Here’s how to keep your heart healthy and lookingGood at the same time!
Get a Grip on Your Blood Pressure
Many people don’t know that high blood pressure can cause heart disease. In fact, high blood pressure is the number-one risk factor for heart disease. To keep your blood pressure in check, you must know your blood pressure and your blood pressure medications. High blood pressure is blood pressure higher than what is considered normal. It is usually measured using a blood pressure machine. There are many different types of blood pressure machines that can give different results and dials that range from normal to very high. It is important to determine which type of blood pressure machine is right for you. To get a grip on your blood pressure, there are several steps you can take:
- Know your numbers: You need to know what your blood pressure is before you can start managing it. A healthy blood pressure reading is usually around 120/80 mm Hg. However, if your reading is consistently higher than this, you may have high blood pressure and need to take action.
- Maintain a healthy weight: Being overweight or obese increases your risk of high blood pressure. By losing weight, you can reduce your blood pressure and improve your overall health.
- Follow a healthy diet: Eating a diet that is high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein can help lower your blood pressure. You should also limit your intake of sodium, saturated fats, and processed foods.
- Exercise regularly: Regular exercise can help lower your blood pressure and improve your overall health. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise most days of the week.
- Reduce stress: Stress can raise your blood pressure, so finding ways to manage stress is important. Try relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, or yoga.
- Take medication if needed: If lifestyle changes alone are not enough to control your blood pressure, your doctor may recommend medication.
Getting a grip on your blood pressure requires making lifestyle changes that can be challenging at times. However, the benefits of managing your blood pressure are significant, and can help prevent serious health problems down the road.
You must stay hydrated to help prevent heart disease. For people who drink too much coffee or other caffeinated beverages, drinking enough water can be a problem. Other drink choices include plain old water, flavored water, or even orange juice. If you’re not drinking enough water, you are putting yourself at risk for osteoporosis, muscle cramps, headaches, and other health problems! It is also important to drink your 8 glasses of water recommended by the American Heart Association.
Make smart food choices
It is important to eat a healthy, balanced diet. However, certain foods are harmful when consumed in large amounts. These include fat, sugar, sodium, and alcohol. Smart food choices include limiting your fat intake to less than 30%, limiting your sugar to less than 10%, and choosing fresh fruits and vegetables over ready-to-eat items. To make smart food choices, consider the following:
- Choose a variety of nutrient-dense foods: Nutrient-dense foods are those that provide a high amount of nutrients relative to their calorie content. These include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats. Choosing a variety of nutrient-dense foods helps ensure that you are getting a range of vitamins, minerals, and other important nutrients.
- Limit processed and junk foods: Processed and junk foods are often high in calories, sugar, and unhealthy fats. These foods can contribute to weight gain and increase the risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and certain types of cancer. Limiting these foods in your diet can help improve your health.
- Pay attention to portion sizes: Portion sizes can have a significant impact on calorie intake. Learning appropriate portion sizes can help you maintain a healthy weight and prevent overeating.
- Be mindful of added sugars: Added sugars are often found in processed foods and beverages, and can contribute to weight gain and other health problems. Limiting added sugars can help improve your overall health.
- Drink plenty of water: Water is essential for maintaining hydration and supporting bodily functions. Drinking plenty of water can also help prevent overeating and support healthy digestion.
Making smart food choices requires some effort and planning, but the benefits are well worth it. By choosing healthy, nutrient-dense foods, you can improve your overall health and reduce the risk of chronic diseases.
Physical activity is good for your heart. It can lower blood pressure, improve metabolism, and increase energy. However, you must choose exercise that is safe for you and your heart. Exercising too hard or in places where you cannot get a good cardiovascular workout are harmful. It is important to find a balance between physical activity and not do too much at once.
Check-Up and Make Sure You’re Not at Risk
It is important to check with your doctor before starting any new diet or any new physical activity. Certain foods are known to make people with high blood pressure more likely to develop the disease. These include tomatoes, tea, wine, chocolate, coffee, and guavas. It is also important to check with your doctor about any medications you are taking. Many medications can interact with each other resulting in increased blood pressure or heart rate. Before starting any new diet or physical activity, be sure to check with your doctor to make sure you are safe to do so!
Encourage Good Health and Well-Being by Knowing Yourself
It takes a strong person to maintain their health. You must know yourself better than anyone so that you can better plan for the future. Knowing your body better than anyone else will help you identify potential problems and work toward solving them. You will also learn how to better manage your health and fitness.