There seems to be this ingrained notion that as we age, poor physical and mental health will be inevitable, but this is far from the truth. While we will experience some decline in all aspects of life in line with normal aging, healthy living is very much in our control. Our heart health, in particular, is of utmost importance as it can have deleterious consequences in all aspects of our life if not taken care of. With our list of tips to keep your heart healthy, you can continue to enjoy life to the fullest!
Don’t Sit for Too Long
It has been shown that sitting for long periods of time can have important consequences for our heart. This is true even if one maintains appropriate physical activity levels. This is especially important for those with desk jobs who can spend hours on end glued to their desks.
Your heart and lungs are inextricably linked. Studies have shown that for those with poor lung health, their heart health will also decline. Even if you don’t smoke, exposure to second-hand smoke is nearly as bad so try to avoid it if possible.
Maintain A Healthy Weight
Studies have shown that every inch on your waistline adds more risk for you to develop heart diseases or get a heart attack. The best way to combat obesity is by ensuring that you do not consume more than the recommended caloric intake for your weight.
Consume Healthy Fats
There is a misnomer that fats are unhealthy, but the fats present in food are essential for our survival – in the right quantity of course! There are also various kinds of fats, each with a specific impact on our body. Trans fats should be avoided while healthy fats in nuts and avocado are beneficial.
Practice Good Dental Hygiene
Teeth seem to be far removed from one’s heart health, but this is far from true. In fact, gum disease is closely linked to heart problems as well. This means that brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing regularly are important for your teeth and heart!
As it turns out, laughter is the best medicine! Who would have guessed that laughing is beneficial for your heart? It has been shown to decrease inflammation in the arteries as well as increase “good” cholesterol. The benefits of laughter are even better with a friend or two or in a community setting with like-minded friends.
Drink in Moderation
There has been mixed research on the effect of alcohol on your health. Some studies suggest no more than a glass of red wine a day while others advise you to give up on it entirely. Thus, it is best to consume it in moderation.
Eat Dark Chocolate
Some find the taste of dark chocolate unacceptably bitter while others fervently swear by it! If you happen to fall in the latter camp, then good news for you! The flavonoids present in dark chocolate are great for your heart and health!