Heart disease is the number one killer in the United States today. If you have certain risks factors, it is critical that you take measures to improve and maintain good cardio health. Keep reading to discover what you can do to naturally improve your heart function for a long and healthy life.
1. Lose weight. This should be at the top of your list to get into good physical health overall, but it is especially important to your cardio health. Overweight people are at a higher risk for developing diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and even certain types of cancer. Obesity will also cause your heart to pump harder which can lead to long term damage.
2. Stop smoking. This killer habit can put you at a much higher risk for heart attack and stroke. Smoking is one of the most preventable causes of heart disease there is. So if you smoke stop. If you don’t smoke, don’t start. If you live with a smoker, insist that they not smoke around you. Second hand smoke can do just as much, if not more, damage to your lungs.
3. Exercise. Your heart is a muscle. The best way to develop any muscle is through exercise. This includes your heart muscle. Exercise gets your blood pumping and makes your heart stronger. It also reduces cholesterol levels and helps to reduce stress.
4. Eat heart healthy foods. Foods that are rich in potassium are good for your heart. You should also try to avoid foods that are high in sodium because sodium will make you retain excess water and put a strain on your heart muscle. Studies have shown that foods that are rich in omega 3 fatty acids are good for your heart. Stop eating the high calorie, high fat junk foods and start eating a diet rich in fiber, fruit and vegetables.
5. Lower your stress levels. This can be easier said than done. We all lead busy, stressful lives. If you feel that you are under too much stress, investigate ways to decrease these stress levels. There may be some things you cannot change, but some things you can. If you are trying to be perfect in everything you do, stop. Nobody is perfect and trying to achieve perfection will cause unneeded stress in your life. Find something that you can do that will de-stress you. Some people like to exercise while others engage in their favorite hobby. Whatever you, do try to lower your stress level to protect your heart from the damage that ongoing stress can cause.
So there you have five great tips on how to improve and maintain your cardio health. Use these tips wisely and develop a few of your own. Keep your cardiovascular system healthy and lower your risk for heart disease.