How to improve heart health?

March 18, 2023

How to improve heart health?
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Heart disease is a leading cause of death worldwide, and taking steps to improve heart health is crucial. You can do many things to improve your heart health, including lifestyle changes and reducing your risk of heart disease.

Here are some practical tips for improving heart health:

1. Maintain a healthy weight

Maintaining a healthy weight is essential for heart health. Being overweight or obese can increase your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure. Losing weight can help lower your risk of these conditions and improve your heart health.

2. Eat a heart-healthy diet

Eating a healthy diet is critical for heart health. A heart-healthy diet includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats. In addition, limit your intake of saturated and trans fats, added sugars, and sodium.

  • One way to improve heart health is to lower daily sodium intake. Consuming too much sodium can cause water retention, which makes your heart work harder to move the additional fluid through your body. You can choose foods labelled as “no salt added,” avoid foods with more than 400 milligrams of sodium per serving, and aim to stay below 1500 milligrams total per day. Using herbs and spices instead of salt can also be a good option. The DASH diet is a helpful approach to reducing sodium and taking care of your heart.
  • Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables can also help improve heart health. These foods are packed with nutrients and are lower in calories, which can help you maintain a moderate weight and reduce inflammation. It is best to choose colourful and fresh fruits and vegetables whenever possible.
  • Limiting saturated fat intake is another way to improve heart health. Saturated fats can lead to atherosclerosis, where hard plaque builds up in your arteries. You can lower your saturated fat intake by choosing low-fat cuts of meat, such as the eye of round roast or sirloin tip, and avoiding high-fat dairy products. In general, greasy foods are likely to be higher in saturated fats.

3. Exercise regularly

Regular exercise is one of the best things you can do for your heart health. Exercise can help lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of heart disease, and improve overall cardiovascular health. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise each week.

  • Walking is a highly recommended activity for maintaining a healthy heart. Brisk walking, where you take roughly 100 steps per minute or walk at a speed of 2.7 miles per hour for 30 minutes a day, five days a week,, can reduce the risk of coronary heart disease by 19%. Even if you’re new to exercise, you can start with slow walks and gradually increase the intensity to moderate or vigorous levels. In addition, you can make your walks more challenging by walking up and down hills, using a weighted vest or walking on a treadmill.
  • Running is another great exercise for heart health. It can reduce the risk of heart disease and may even increase longevity. Running is a high-intensity activity that burns more calories in a shorter time than walking. Therefore, it works your heart at a higher level.
  • Cycling outdoors or indoors on a stationary bike is an excellent way to improve cardiovascular health. In addition, research suggests that regular cycling can lower the incidence of cardiovascular diseases.
  • Strength training exercises, such as lifting weights or doing push-ups, not only pump up your muscles but also get your heart pumping. As a result, they increase your lean muscle mass, which helps to burn more calories even when you are at rest. This, in turn, helps maintain a healthy weight and is good for your heart.

4. Quit smoking

Smoking is a leading cause of heart disease and other health problems. If you smoke, quitting is the best thing you can do for your heart health. Talk to your doctor about strategies to help you quit smoking, such as nicotine replacement therapy, medications, or counselling.

5. Manage stress

Stress can contribute to heart disease and other health problems. Managing stress is essential for maintaining good heart health. Try relaxation techniques like deep breathing, meditation, or yoga.

6. Control high blood pressure and cholesterol

High blood pressure and high cholesterol are major risk factors for heart disease. Work with your doctor to monitor your blood pressure and cholesterol levels and take steps to control them. This may include medication, lifestyle changes, or both.

7. Get enough sleep

Getting enough sleep is essential for overall health, including heart health. Aim for at least 7-8 hours of sleep each night. Poor sleep quality and sleep apnea have been linked to an increased risk of heart disease.

When to see a doctor?

If you observe a recurring incidence of heart disease symptoms such as high cholesterol levels and high blood pressure, it is essential to take action and seek the advice of a cardiologist for a checkup.

In conclusion, improving heart health combines lifestyle changes and risk reduction strategies. By making healthy choices such as maintaining a healthy weight, eating a heart-healthy diet, regularly exercising, quitting smoking, managing stress, controlling high blood pressure and cholesterol, and getting enough sleep, you can reduce your risk of heart disease and improve your overall health and well-being. Remember to consult your doctor before making any significant changes to your lifestyle or if you have any concerns about your heart health.

People also ask

1. How can I strengthen my heart?

Several ways to strengthen your heart include regular exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, reducing stress, quitting smoking, and following a heart-healthy diet.

2. How can I improve my heart naturally?

Some natural ways to improve heart health include regular exercise, eating a healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein, reducing stress through meditation or yoga, quitting smoking, and limiting alcohol intake.

3. Can a weak heart improve?

Yes, a weak heart can improve with the help of medications and lifestyle changes.

4. Which foods improve heart health?

Foods that can improve heart health include those that are rich in fibre, omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, and other nutrients, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish, nuts, and seeds. It’s also important to limit or avoid foods high in saturated and trans fats, sodium, and added sugars.

Disclaimer: We recommend consulting a Doctor before taking any action based on the above shared information.



Department of Cardiology

Department of Cardiology

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