5 Scientifically-Backed Ways to Improve Your Heart Health

Feb 12, 2024 | General Health

Valentine’s Day, a celebration of love and affection, is symbolically represented by the heart, making it a fitting occasion to also focus on heart health. This connection provides an excellent opportunity to discuss the importance of maintaining a healthy heart. So, in the spirit of Valentine’s Day, let’s explore various ways to nurture our physical hearts.

1. Avoid Smoking.

Smoking is one of the worst things you can do for your heart and overall health. Unfortunately, the hard truth is that regular smoking can increase your risk of coronary heart disease, stroke, and an aneurysm. In fact, smoking is thought to cause one in four deaths from cardiovascular diseases.

The problem? Chemicals in cigarettes can lead to blood thickening, which may increase the odds of clot formation. These clots can block arteries and veins, leading to serious blood flow issues and even life-threatening events, such as a heart attack.

2. Walk Daily.

Your heart, like any muscle, needs exercise. Walking daily can provide the amount you need to keep this main organ functioning in tip-top shape. Most sources claim that walking between 20-30 minutes a day is sufficient. And this doesn’t have to be all at once! You can even break this down into three 10-minute walks.

3. Take a Deep Breath.

Increased stress can lead to increased behaviours associated with poor heart health, such as emotional eating or sedentary behaviour. Thus, finding healthy ways to cope with stress can work wonders for your heart!

When feeling stressed, try this: Take a deep inhale through your nose, counting to four and ensuring you fill your lungs and belly. Pause and count to four, then exhale through your mouth to a count of four. Repeat until you feel more relaxed.

4. Eat Your Fruits & Veggies.

Fruits and vegetables contain plenty of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that can support good heart health and prevent disease. Antioxidants, in particular, are abundant in plant food. These compounds help fight free radicals, preventing inflammation and factors that lead to the development of disease.

5. Limit Alcohol.

Excessive alcohol intake is linked to an increased risk of heart disease, heart attacks, and strokes. While the current recommendation is that women should have no more than one drink a day and men should have no more than two drinks per day, many experts argue that none is ultimately best. Even small amounts can have detrimental impacts on your health, especially if you’re drinking close to bedtime.
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