Heart Disease is one of the leading killers of women. Even if you’re genetically more predisposed to develop the disease, there’s still ways to reduce the risks and live a happier, longer life. Today in part 2 of our heart health series, I am going to talk to you about 5 relatively easy ways to keep your heart healthy and in tip top shape. 3 of them are part of my 5-core healthy fundamentals. If you prefer to listen, click PODCAST
Leading the pack is to quit smoking
If you’re a smoker, you already know it’s not exactly great for your health. However, did you know it’s actually one of the most common causes of coronary heart disease?
In just one year after giving up smoking, you’ll literally halve your risk of developing heart disease compared to those who still smoke.
Of course, quitting smoking isn’t as easy as it sounds. However, these days there is plenty of help available so don’t be afraid to speak to your doctor to see how they can help.
Next up is diet and exercise.
Diet and exercise are the most obvious ways to keep your heart healthy. However, many women are unsure as to what they should be eating and how much exercise they should be doing to specifically boost heart health.
In terms of diet, reducing trans fats and focusing on healthier fats is one of the first things you’ll want to do. Trans fats are known to clog up the arteries and significantly increase the risk of heart disease. Lowering the amount of trans fats within the body helps to boost blood flow, while healthier fats help to keep the heart healthy.
You’ll also want to focus on foods which are high in fiber, as well as ensuring you get plenty of fruits and vegetables into your daily diet.
Exercising regularly will also really help to keep the heart healthy. It’s recommended you get at least 30 minutes of exercise 5 days a week for maximum heart benefits. This also helps with weight management, which also helps to reduce your risk of heart disease.
Next laugh daily
One of the more surprising ways to help your heart is to ensure you laugh daily. Laughter is often said to be the best medicine and in terms of a healthy heart this is definitely the case.
When we laugh, our breathing becomes faster, sending more oxygen throughout the body. If you really laugh, you’ll also notice you move your body too, such as waving your arms. This increases the heart rate, said to provide a mini workout.
While there is no concrete evidence to suggest laughter does boost the health, it’s certainly not going to hurt and if nothing else, it makes you feel better. So, make it a habit to laugh daily and you’ll soon start to feel positive, happier and healthier.
Fourth bring on the zzz’s and make sure you’re getting enough sleep.
Sleep is essential for overall health, especially the health of your heart. However, research suggests most of us don’t get anywhere near enough of it.
Regardless of age and health habits, if you fail to get enough sleep your chances of developing heart disease can increase. In particular, if you get less than six hours sleep a night, you’re much more likely to suffer a heart attack or stroke than those who get more than six hours.
Ideally, you’ll want to try and get 7-8 hours sleep a night for maximum heart protection benefits.
Last but not least and one that you may not have thought about is look after your teeth and gums.
Taking care of your teeth and gums is going to significantly lower your risk of heart disease. Studies have shown that those who have gum disease, tend to have the exact same risk factors as heart disease.
It’s thought the bacteria present in the mouth can get into the bloodstream, causing inflammation within the blood vessels. So, always floss and brush your teeth twice daily to minimize the risks.
If you follow the 5 ways to keep your heart healthy above, you’ll significantly cut your risk of heart disease. Taking care of your heart is essential if you want to live a long, healthy and happy life and I know you do.
Be sure to join me next week when we will be ending our 3-part series with healthy heart foods.
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