Heart disease is still the number one cause of death in the US. If you want to keep your heart in great shape, here are 10 simple things you can do:
#1 Get More Sleep
Poor sleep increases the risk of heart disease and contributes to many of the conditions that set the stage for it, like obesity, high blood pressure, and diabetes. It is recommended to get 6-8 hours of quality sleep to keep your heart in good shape.
#2 Eat More Greens
The more vegetables you eat, the better your cardiac future looks. Research shows that people who eat plant-based diets are less likely to develop heart disease. So start filling up your fridge with more greens.
#3 Eat Less Fat
Heard the buzz about how butter is good for you? Don’t believe it. Animal fats and even animal proteins are linked to elevated cholesterol and elevated heart risk. That’s why you should cut down on your fat intake if you want to keep a healthy heart.
#4 Take A 10-minute Walk
If you don't exercise at all, a brief walk is a great way to start. If you do, it's a good way to add more exercise to your day.
#5 Train Your Muscle
Lifting a hardcover book or a two-pound backpack a few times a day can help tone your arm muscles and improve your heart health. When that becomes a breeze, move on to heavier items or join a gym.
#6 Cut Your Alcohol Intake
Too much alcohol can cause high blood pressure, abnormal heart rhythms and heart muscle damage. Stick to moderate drinking. If possible, skip it altogether.
#7 Stop Drinking Your Calories
Cutting out just one sugar-sweetened soda or calorie-laden latte can easily save you 100 or more calories a day. Over a year, that can translate into a 10-pound weight loss.
#8 Have A Handful Of Nuts
Walnuts, almonds, peanuts, and other nuts are good for your heart. Try grabbing some instead of chips or cookies when you need a snack, adding them to salads for a healthful and tasty crunch, or using them in place of meat in pasta and other dishes.
Try breathing slowly and deeply for a few minutes a day. It can help you relax. Slow, deep breathing helps lower blood pressure and is great for your heart.
#10 Practice Gratitude
Taking a moment each day to count the blessings in your life is one way to start tapping into positive emotions. These have been linked with better health, longer life, and greater well-being, just as their opposites — chronic anger, worry, and hostility — contribute to high blood pressure and heart disease.
Key Takeaway: watch what you eat, how much you move, and switch to a healthier lifestyle to keep a healthy heart.