When it comes to your overall well-being, you have to take good care of your body and your heart is one of the best places to start. So many vital organs and processes in your body depend on this mighty, muscular organ. If your heart isn’t functioning at optimal levels, the rest of your health will suffer. Heart disease, along with cancer and pneumonia, is one of the leading causes of death in Singapore, but it is preventable. Take advantage of the following tips to keep your heart healthy and strong, ensuring it will keep on pumping, full force, for many years to come.
1. Check Your Blood Sugar Levels
Managing your blood sugar is key in promoting excellent cardiovascular health. If you have the potential for developing diabetes, you need to especially be proactive about keeping tabs on your blood sugar levels. When levels are too high on a regular basis, your body fails to make the insulin that is necessary to handle excessive levels of glucose in your blood. Over time, this can be extremely damaging to your heart. In contrast, individuals with various heart conditions may experience an extreme drop in blood sugar that can also be life-threatening. When in doubt, have your blood sugar levels checked and adjust accordingly to make sure your body is getting what it needs.
2. Maintain a Healthy Weight
You need to keep your weight on track. Obesity is a major problem in the world at this time. When you put on extra weight, you are also placing a burden on your heart. The harder you make your heart work to function, the more likely this essential organ will be prone to disease. You’ll also find that being overweight makes it harder to stay active, increasing your risk of high blood pressure, stroke, and heart attack.
3. Limit Processed Meats
Processed meats are high in nitrates and sodium, both of which place to much strain on your heart. When you overload on sodium, it can actually weaken your arteries. Nitrates reduce your body’s ability to produce insulin, bringing you back blood sugar problems. To sum up, processed meats simply aren’t good for you. If you must include them in your diet, keep your intake to a minimum. If you can eliminate them altogether, that’s even better.
Stress is a major factor related to heart conditions. When you worry all the time and get caught up in frustration, you actually make your heart work harder and send your blood pressure off the charts. Find constructive ways to deal with stress, such as deep breathing exercises, going for a massage, and trying yoga. Rather than being upset, look for solutions. Take advantage of the support of others.
5. Ditch the Can-Drinks
Can-drinks are high in sugar and sodium, two ingredients that can lead to obesity, high blood sugar levels, and obesity. Even diet sodas are not beneficial, filled with artificial additives that are unhealthy. A recent study suggested that diet sodas could increase your risk for stroke and heart attack by nearly 50%. While findings have been considered inconclusive, the bottom line is can-drinks are not good for your heart, or the rest of your body.
6. Get Your Exercise
Staying physically active is a must when it comes to promoting cardiovascular health. As a rule of thumb, try to get 150 to 210 minutes of exercise in a week. If you shoot for a half hour, five days a week, you’ll be on track. Do forms of exercise that are good for your heart, such as running, seven days a week and you’ll be in even better shape. You can also consider increasing your amount of time to 45 minutes to an hour.
7. Eat Fresh
Fresh food is definitely the best way to go when it comes to your daily diet. Most of your meals should consist of fresh produce, loading up with fruits and vegetables that have not been frozen or canned. Don’t forget healthy fats that come from nuts, low fat dairy, and fish. If you opt for meat, choose lean meats that have been raised in an organic way.
8. Don’t Smoke
Smoking puts a strain on your heart, it affects your lungs, and can lead to cancer. You’re only putting toxins in your system with every puff, not to mention you’re putting others at risk as well with second-hand smoke.
9. Get Enough Quality Sleep
A good night’s rest on a daily basis is a must for your health, and that includes your heart. Sleep provides your body with a chance to recharge and do vital repairs, while your heart gets a well-deserved rest.
10. Get Regular Screenings
Visit the doctor annually and get yourself screened regularly. Make sure to check your blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and be tested for diabetes.