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5 easy steps to a healthy heart

A healthy heart reduces serious disease risk and contributes to your overall wellbeing; here are things to do for your heart health.

Maintaining a healthy heart is one of the most crucial aspects of living a better life. Taking deliberate steps to ensure that your heart remains strong will not only lead to an active and longer life but benefit almost all aspects of your overall wellbeing.

The goal is to prevent or, at the very least, minimize the risk of heart disease. Heart disease comes in various shapes and forms, with some being worse than others.

Before we dive into the ‘easy steps to a healthy heart’ as this article’s title promises, let’s review the frightening concept that is heart disease.

After all, you cannot have an article about heart health without briefly touching upon the very hazards that absolutely must be avoided.

Woman's Hands forming a Shape to Signify a Healthy Heart

 

The types of heart disease

Heart disease is a blanket term that refers to various heart conditions. The common ones include:

Other than coronary heart disease, atherosclerosis, left unchecked and untreated, can easily lead to potentially fatal outcomes like strokes and heart attacks.

Clogged-up arteries can also cause angina, transient ischaemic attacks, and peripheral arterial disease.

All these serious conditions caused by atherosclerosis are known as cardiovascular diseases. According to the NHS, atherosclerosis does not have symptoms until it initiates cardiovascular diseases.

The exact reason behind atherosclerosis is largely unknown. However, there are several things that you can do to ensure minimal risk to your heart.

A Healthy Family

Effective approaches to a healthy heart

While there are numerous measures you can take to improve your health, we have shortlisted a few of the most effective ones.

While most of what follows are quite easy to achieve, for some, you may require a little extra help.

Quit smoking

Let’s begin by getting one of the more difficult ones out of the way first. If you are a smoker, quitting is the best thing you can do for your heart.

Smoking not only increases the risk of serious disease but is also linked to lung disease and cancer, among other things.

Your heart health begins to improve almost immediately once you quit.

We appreciate and understand how difficult quitting can be. You can refer to NHS Smokefree for guidance or talk to your GP if it becomes too overwhelming.

Exercise regularly

Regular exercise can help you achieve the healthy heart you may be after. It does not have to be an intensive routine either. The exercise need only be done regularly.

With the relative luxury and technological advances of modern times, most of us end up leading a sedentary lifestyle. Our work involves sitting behind a desk, travel involves sitting behind a steering wheel, and entertainment involves sitting in front of a screen.

Physical inactivity leads to the heart working less, and eventually, plaques and fatty substances end up settling down comfortably in the arteries. Other issues also form due to a sedentary life that leads to serious heart disease.

According to the British Heart Foundation, a little physical activity done regularly can reduce the risk of heart disease by 35%.

The NHS advises that the aim should be 150 minutes of moderate exercise (like fast walking or cycling) every week and strength training at least twice each week.

Tweak your diet a little

Whether it is a cold can of full-fat carbonated drink or a sweet, hot latte from the café, the more we drink, the more they end up tasting better. Ultimately, we end up with an obscene amount of sugar in our system.

However, if you can cut out at least one sugar-filled beverage a day, that is at least 100 calories not making it into your body every day.

A healthy heart does not mean only stopping or reducing sugar intake. You must also aim to reduce your consumption of salt and saturated fats.

There are also plenty of foods that actually add to your heart’s health, including:

Basically, you should aim for a balanced diet low in sugar, salt, cholesterol, and saturated fats.

Exercise

Maintain a healthy weight

If all of the above is done correctly, you will automatically achieve a healthy weight. However, the NHS advises that the ideal body mass index (BMI) for a healthy heart is between 18.5 and 24.9.

People who are overweight or obese have an increased risk of heart disease.

It is important that once you have achieved the intended weight, you maintain it.

Take care of your mental health

Finally, you must always look after your mental and psychological wellbeing. Mental health is as important as physical health when it comes to the heart.

Chronic stress, anxiety, or anger can all contribute to heart disease and high blood pressure.

Therefore, it is imperative that you tap into positive emotions wherever you may find them.

If you are suffering from mental health issues or you simply suspect that you are, please get in touch with your GP. There is medication and support to help you.

Good mental wellbeing is very important for a healthy heart.

How can VIVO Clinic aid you?

There are several tests we offer that can help you on your journey to a healthy heart, you can check them out below.

Keeping your cholesterol levels in check is one of the most important things you can do in order to improve your heart health.

High cholesterol can lead to strokes and heart attacks. The condition is especially sinister, considering it has no symptoms.

Keep reading: 5 easy ways to lower your cholesterol

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