The heart is the most important organ in the body. Without it we have nothing. It literally pumps life into our bodies, so it’s important that we take care of it. Proper care of the heart can add decades to our lifespan and I’m here for it. Unfortunately, many of our bad habits and lifestyle choices can compromise our heart health. As I prepare to greet the big 4-0, I’m working to get my heart healthy and I want to share six tips with you to ensure that we live a heart healthy life.
Get Regular Checkups. Regular checkups are essential to a healthy life. As an American, it bothers me that our country is so focused on sick care and not so much on preventive care. We tend to go to doctors once we’re sick instead of seeking preventive care that comes along with regular checkups. It’s important that you seek your doctor for a yearly physical and/or if you notice any irregular changes in your body. Any illness that’s caught earlier is more likely to be reversed or treated as opposed to the latter stages that can lead to worse results.
Stay Hydrated. Nothing grows without water. Just like the trees and flowers need water, we do, too. Keeping the body hydrated helps the heart pump blood through our blood vessels with more ease on its way to the muscles. More so, our heart and brain are made up of 73% water. Yes, you read that correctly and our bodies are made up of about 60% water. So, water has to be important. Besides, when you’re hydrated your heart doesn’t have to work as hard. So drink it up, drink it up.
Improve your diet. What we eat is important. I’ve even heard many argue that it’s more important to eat healthy than to exercise. I’m not sure if that’s true, but I know our hearts work better when our diets are full of mono- and polyunsaturated fats. These are usually found in nuts, seeds, and fish. Avoid trans fats as much as possible. Processed and junk foods are usually filled with them so avoid as much as you can.
Stop Smoking. Smoking has been deemed as a major risk factor for heart disease. As a child, I grew up with an aunt that loved to smoke those Kools. She would puff, puff, puff. I also watched as she tried numerous times to quit. It wasn’t easy and she’s still puff puffing. I’ve never been a smoker, but there are cessation programs out there to help with this. See your doctor and see what help you can get. I promise your heart will thank you for it.
Move that Body. I’m here to tell you that I hate exercise. I try to hype myself up and speak positive about it, but I just hate it. I really just hate how I sweat. I can’t even wear my hair straight because I sweat in my head and it turns into a bushy mess. But, I see it like this, dead folks don’t have to worry about their hair. So, I just keep it natural and keep it moving. It’s recommended that we get at least 30-minutes of exercise in a day. If you’re pressed for time or don’t like long workouts, try taking walks in 10-minute increments, workout in 10-minute increments and 10-minutes of strength training (weight lifting, push-ups, or lunges). Strength training really helps to get the heart rate moving, so grab some can goods and get to lifting.
De-Stress. I often hear people saying that we should avoid stress. Honestly, there’s no way to really avoid stress. It’s everywhere, so I rather take the time to de-stress. I tend to do this by reading, meditating, yoga and listening to music. These things calm and balance me. So grab your girls and hit the spa for a few hours, you deserve it.
These are just a few of the activities that I try to practice regularly. I’m not perfect, but I try. I’m trying to live a long and active life, so join me on this journey. You’ll thank me for it sooner or later.
What are some ways that you work to keep your heart healthy?
Disclosure: I’m not a health professional. See your doctor before taking on any new routines or activities.