When it comes to your heart health, there should be no compromise. A well-functioning heart equals a sound mind and sound body! Keeping your heart fit and healthy is one of the best ways to not only protect yourself from heart-related health risks, but also maintain your overall wellness.
Thankfully, there are many easy and attainable ways to improve your cardiovascular health and strengthen your heart for years to come. Here’s how to improve heart health naturally in 7 easy ways!
Our heart is a muscle, first and foremost, so how do we maintain our muscles? We give them a workout, of course!
You’ve probably heard again and again that exercise is one of the best ways to stay healthy. And there’s a good reason why it’s constantly repeated — exercise is awesome for our cardiovascular health! Keeping up a regular routine, whether you weekly or just every other day, can make a huge difference!
The best exercises for heart health are those specifically meant to improve our cardio fitness. Activities like running, jogging, cycling, and even brisk walking are usually the best way to go. Other than that, there are a ton of readily-available workouts that you can do at home, at the gym, outside, or wherever you prefer to get active.
If you’re not used to strenuous exercise, or are completely new to it, no worries! You can start with a little bit of cardio activities and increase your limit a little more each day. It will be tough, but be mindful to not overexert yourself. Of course, everyone has different physical limitations and preferences, so it’s always a good idea to consult a doctor or healthcare professional about the best workouts for your specific needs and health conditions.
Improve Your Diet
Aside from exercise, keeping up a healthy diet is another oft-repeated tip — and for good reason! It is true what they say: we are what we eat, and when we eat healthy, we stay healthy!
Our diet and digestion can affect our cardiovascular health a lot more than we think. First, we get most, if not all, of our vitamins and minerals from the food we eat. When our food is properly digested, those nutrients get absorbed into our body and distributed to our various organs, so proper digestion is key to proper nourishment! Plus, poor digestion can often lead to a lot of other problems, such as over-inflammation and gastrocardiac syndrome, among others.
The next step to create a heart-healthy diet is to cut out any “bad” food that does more harm to our body than good. This means processed, sugary, and high-in-sodium foods. If you can’t quite give up your favorite food just yet (we understand!), you can start by reducing your intake of it little by little. Think twice before ordering that late night fast food for the n-th time this week!
Of course, eating less bad food can only take you so far. To really enhance your diet, you have to start eating more healthy food as well! That means more fruits, vegetables, grains, and other organic food. Unfortunately, there’s no shortcut for this step if you’re not a big fan of greens, but there’s many ways to incorporate healthier ingredients into delicious recipes that even the most veggie-phobic person will enjoy! Think smoothies, loaded salads, and seasonal produce.
In addition to that, you can also improve your digestion with fermented foods like kombucha or sauerkraut — or try probiotics and digestive enzymes instead! Probiotics like Renew Life Probiotics Ultimate Flora 200 Billion are specially made to maintain and balance our gut to make sure our digestion goes smoothly!
While there’s no surefire way to completely and permanently get rid of stress and anxiety in this day and age (we wish!), there are always ways to reduce its impact!
At first glance, stress can be misconstrued as a purely mental issue, but it can manifest physically as well. The impact of stress on our body can reveal itself in various ways, from brain fog to nausea to indigestion and beyond. For our cardiovascular health in particular, stress can have drastic and sometimes long-lasting effects. It can lead to a higher-than-normal blood pressure and inflammation levels, as well as an increased risk of a stroke or even a heart attack.
We’re sure you’re just as eager as we are to find out how you can manage your stress levels. And sometimes, the solution is a lot simpler than we imagine it to be! It’s easy — anytime you start to feel too worn out, take a break!
Take some time to rest your mind and body to regain your strength. You might even find that after taking a break and allowing yourself to relax, you can come back to your work feeling more productive and inspired than ever! You can relieve stress by doing something that you enjoy (that doesn’t involve work!) such as a hobby or a pastime, spending quality time with your family and friends, or even simple activities like taking a walk or enjoying a quiet moment alone. We all have different ways to deal with stress, and what works for one person might not have the same effect for another, so take a step back and find out what works best for you.
- Participate in a hobby
- Hang out with people you enjoy
- Get outside
- Be alone or quiet
- Enjoy a favorite drink or snack
Other than that, you can also tackle the issue at the root and take steps to lessen the amount of stress that’s put on you in the first place. Is your workload too demanding? Is your work environment conducive to your happiness and productivity? Are you satisfied with your present relationships? Finding and cutting off the root cause of your everyday stressors before they add even more strain on your life, or at least working to lessen their influence, may be the answer you need.
If you still need a little more help in that department, try something else to ease you into a more relaxed state. Natural anxiety relief supplements can help you to wind down and take your mind off your worries.
In relation to stress, it’s important to get a good night’s sleep too! It’s usually recommended that adults to get at least eight hours of sleep every day.
Not only is it important to relax and replenish your supply of energy at the end of the day, but studies have shown that sleep and heart health are closely connected to each other.
When we go to sleep, our body naturally “resets” itself to prepare for another new day. Staying awake for long periods of time, especially past your usual bedtime, doesn’t give our body the chance to reset. This includes our blood pressure, which lowers while we’re resting. Consistently high blood pressure levels could lead to various health risks, including strokes and other heart disorders. Other than that, a lack of sleep could also lead to a greater risk of developing diabetes, which is associated with higher blood sugar, cholesterol, and inflammation levels. Plus, lack of sleep just makes you feel sluggish and tired, which could affect your performance and mood throughout the day.
So what do you do if you’re having trouble catching a few zzz’s at night?
If counting sheep just doesn’t do it for you, the best sleep aid products can help you to fall asleep in a jiffy! Ones that contain melatonin, chamomile, passionflower, and valerian are usually the most effective. Try not to consume coffee, alcohol, or anything sugary too close to your bedtime. Put your phone away or stay away from bright screens in general. Make sure that you’re in a dark, quiet, and comfortable environment. And most importantly, let yourself relax!
As we already mentioned earlier, exercising is another great way to get more sleep later in the night. When our bodies are sufficiently spent from all the activity and exercise we’ve done, it makes it much easier to fall asleep.
You’ve probably noticed by now just how many times inflammation has been mentioned throughout this article. While not always a bad thing, too much inflammation in the body can quickly become a big problem.
Chronic inflammation does more harm to our body than it does good. Inflammation usually occurs as one of our body’s natural defenses against infection and other invaders. However, when our body is constantly on the defensive, it could start attacking healthy cells and tissue, which then leads to too much inflammation — and often pain and increased risk of health problems.
Studies have shown that too much inflammation could irritate our blood vessels, reduce our body’s capacity for natural healing, and promote the buildup of plaque and blood clots in our arteries and blood vessels. This is why over-inflammation is often cited as a huge risk factor for cardiovascular issues.
One of the easiest ways to reduce inflammation is through our diet. There are certain foods that promote higher levels of inflammation than others. Refined carbohydrates (like white bread), fried foods, processed food and meats, alcohol, and food high in trans fats (like margarine and lard) are some of the worst offenders when it comes to inflammation.
To combat inflammation, you can add more antioxidants to your diet! Foods rich in antioxidants can help to combat oxidative stress and prevent over-inflammation. Plenty of fruits, like blueberries, oranges, and grapes, are high in antioxidants. Another good alternative is the spice turmeric, which is known for its anti-inflammatory properties. Supplements like Terry Naturally CuraMed 750mg are a great and accessible way to get a daily dose of turmeric.
Quit The Bad Habits
This could be a hard pill to swallow for some, but we’re serious! Wherever and whenever you can, ditch the bad habits that you know are harmful and try to resist the temptation to pick them up again.
It can be fun to drink on occasion, but don’t get too carried away! Smoking, as well, might have a calming effect for some, but not only is it bad for our lungs and our overall health, but you could also negatively affect others through second-hand smoke. Other bad habits include any form of addiction, not getting enough sleep, neglecting exercise, and eating unhealthily.
Getting rid of unhealthy habits, especially ones that you’re used to, can be a lengthy process. But the long-term damage of overindulging in these habits is harder to get rid of and takes much longer to undo. Trust us, your body will thank you for it later!
Monitor Triglycerides and Balance Blood Sugar
We can’t discuss heart health without mentioning a few scientific words. Triglycerides are a lipid or a waxy fat found in our bloodstream. Our body converts the calories that we don’t use right away into triglycerides and stores them in our blood as an alternative energy source. However, letting these triglycerides pile up in our bloodstream increases the likelihood of heart disease and strokes, along with high blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
If you’re unsure about your triglyceride and blood sugar levels, make sure to check with your doctor or a trusted healthcare professional. They can determine these levels with a simple blood test. In addition to a healthy diet, regular exercise, avoiding sugar and alcohol, and managing your weight, cholesterol supplements are a good way to balance both triglyceride and cholesterol levels.
Like we said earlier, our heart is muscle and, like most muscles, it needs a good workout to stay in good shape. Keeping up with our cardiovascular health is more than just preventing possible health risks. It’s also about making sure that our heart gets all the best nourishment and support it needs to keep it functioning well and in peak condition. And with just the right amount of time and effort, you could strengthen and protect your heart even more! These lifestyle strategies and nourishing supplements can help you achieve maximum heart health for years to come!
Still feeling unsure, or need more advice? Try checking with a medical professional or shop at your local health and nutrition store to find out what will work greatest for you!