Cardiovascular health is an underrated component of overall wellness that many people place secondary to muscle gain. This is quite unfortunate because a healthy body requires an adequate muscle-to-fat ratio with a good circulatory system.
The heart is probably the most important organ in the body as it circulates blood throughout your entire system, even when you’re asleep. It thus makes a lot of sense to take good care of this very important organ that is at work 24/7.
Here are some tips we’d like to share with you on how to achieve that.
Note: Do not ever neglect recurring chest pains because it usually indicates that your heart is struggling to function normally. Your best course of action is to consult a trained doctor immediately.
1. Cook and Prepare Food in Healthier Ways
Your health is a mirror of what you eat.
One way to healthier eating is by preparing your own meals.
You don’t need to be a culinary expert to make delicious and healthy meals because there are herbs and spices that can liven up your food.
The way you cook your food also determines how healthy they are. It is thus better to bake, steam, panfry, or poach your food instead of deep-frying them.
2. Do Enough Exercise
Maintaining an active lifestyle will help decrease your risk of cardiovascular diseases.
Try spending half an hour or more each day doing moderate or, if possible, intense exercises. This will not only burn calories but will make your heart and lungs stronger at the same time. Regularly exercising can also help you better manage your hypertension, diabetes, and cholesterol levels.
Those who are do not like exercising can consider these alternatives:
- Tai Chi
Bonus: you will benefit from the release of feel-good hormones like dopamine and endorphins after a session.
3. Minimize Negativity in Your Life
Many people believe that negativity only affects one psychologically, but the physical aspect is just as real, if not more so. This is because your body is connected to your brain, and what affects one will affect the other.
Negative emotions can become debilitating when you keep dwelling on them. Worse still, they can never be fully eliminated unless you can somehow shut off your emotions completely.
This is why we recommend that you practice mindfulness whenever possible because it will help you understand your thoughts with more clarity and compassion.
Have the courage to seek out help if you feel overwhelmed, and don’t forget to smile.
4. Consume Food Rich in Antioxidants
Antioxidants are substances that are naturally found in fruits and vegetables. Their main function is to protect your cells from oxidative damage, which can cause cancer and various inflammations. Consuming foods rich in antioxidants can thus promote a healthy heart.
Some antioxidants-rich food includes:
- Green tea
- Dark chocolate
Antioxidant supplements are also a viable alternative, although we still recommend that you obtain yours naturally.
5. Maintain a Balanced Cholesterol Level
Cholesterol is typically categorized as either HDL (high-density lipoprotein) or LDL (low-density lipoprotein), with HDL being the healthier of the two since it helps remove cholesterol from your arteries while LDL deposits them. Excessive cholesterol can thus impede your blood flow, leading to heart attack and stroke.
Foods containing HDL include nuts, olive oil, fibrous vegetables, and fatty fish. Foods with LDL are usually fast foods and deep-fried foods, including deep-fried vegetables.
Non-food factors such as smoking and living a sedentary lifestyle can also influence your cholesterol level, which is why we recommend that you follow a regular exercise routine.
You can check your cholesterol level via blood tests or during a health check.
6. Build Strong Bonds with Your Family and Friends
Humans are social creatures meaning that we like to feel connected to others not only physically but also emotionally. It is also why so many people felt depressed when physical distancing was mandated during the pandemic.
Yes, being happy is good for your heart’s health too.
One way to do this is to stay connected with your family and friends, even if only virtually.
Don’t have friends?
Try searching for and joining groups of common interests. The sense of belonging will make you feel more connected while helping to reduce your stress level.
7. Consider Pet Therapy
Pet therapy is an expansive term that incorporates animals for therapeutic purposes.
Animal-assisted therapy is a developing field where individuals are accompanied by creatures such as dogs. The intention is to help people to cope with or recover from various emotional and physical problems.
Recent studies have shown that pet therapy can reduce cardiovascular risks by helping to alleviate feelings of isolation and anxiety.
Those of you who are pet owners can testify to how wonderful owning pets can be.
Disclaimer: Always consult your doctor for professional advice.