Living Heart Smart

Your heart is the most vital organs, keeping all other organs and you going. So it should be someone we take great care of. Because once it stops, it doesn’t always start again. Especially if an AED isn’t available. 

Luckily, it is very easy to live a heart-smart life. These are all things that most of us are already or trying to do for our health. Including these things in your life are crucial for the prevention of things like heart disease, stroke, cardiac arrest, and countless other benefits. 

Lifestyle

Your lifestyle can drastically affect the condition of your heart, not to mention other vital organs and your overall health. Everything from how stressful our lifestyle is, to how we indulge and everything in between. 

 Smoking 

By now it is old news that smoking is a huge link in heart disease, heart attack, stroke and other various forms of conditions and cancers. So it may sound a little redundant, smoking is one of the worst things you can do for your heart and overall health. 

While quitting can be challenging, studies show that soon after quitting, your body begins to repair some of the damage that has been done. So it is never too late to quit. 

Drinking

Drinking can also cause unnecessary stress on your heart. Alcohol is a depressant that can literally lower your heart rate, and raise blood pressure. Excessive or long term use of alcohol (think, having just one or two every day) can also contribute to heart disease, as well as the failure of your liver, kidneys and greatly impacts how your brain is able to function and countless other effects on your body’s health. 

Stress in your lifestyle can also greatly impact your heart health. If you have a high-stress lifestyle, this can cause literal stress in the heart leading to weakening or as serious as causing or contributing to cardiac arrest and stroke. 

Diet 

Diet is definitely one of the most important factors in your heart’s overall health. What we put into our body directly affects how well it functions, and what condition it is in. 

Eating processed, fried and junk foods can have negative effects on your heart, such as putting excess stress on it, as well as plaque buildup in arteries which leads to stroke and heart attack. 

One of the biggest contributions to artery plaque is cholesterol and fat, as this mostly what it is composed of. 

Here are examples of foods that you should eat less often:

  • High in trans fat 
  • High in sugar 
  • Processed
  • Deep-Fried
  • Greasy 
  • Considered junk food
  • Considered fast food

Are generally things you want to limit in your diet, not only for the sake of your heart but for the rest of your body, your mental and emotional well being as well. 

Try To Include More Of;

  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Fiber
  • Water

Exercise 

Exercise is essential to an overall happy healthy life and body. Even if you don’t exactly like the idea of working out, even a 20 minute walk a day is all you need to start reaping the benefits.

Exercising improves your overall body health and function and can lower your stress and even strengthen and improve your heart’s performance. 

Stress Management 

Don’t forget to relax! It is important to not only try and limit the stressors in our life but to actually deal with the stress itself. 

Some things you can do to reduce your stress are:

  • Exercise
  • Yoga 
  • Meditate 
  • Self Care (bath, home-spa, a real spa, etc.)
  • Having Down Time (games, reading, tv, etc.)

You don’t have to transform your life to be able to live Heart Smart. Try to make mindful choices and inclusions when it comes to these aspects of your life. Cook dinner more regularly than hitting the drive-thru, take the stairs instead of the elevator or bike instead of the bus or car, and don’t forget to relax

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