Recent research has shown that we are much more capable of slowing down the aging of our hearts than was originally thought. The heart is one of the most important organs of the body. A diseased heart makes for a shortened and unhealthy life. A heart that doesn’t work at all is incompatible with living. To lead a pleasant and long life, these daily heart health tips and strategies are surprisingly simple and enjoyable.
Aerobic exercise performed at least 5 times per week is ideal for heart health. Some studies have shown that at least 1000 calories should be burned off in aerobic exercise weekly to benefit the heart. Try these simple forms of aerobic exercise to keep your heart ticking for longer:
* Walking at least 1.5 miles daily has been proven to be beneficial for your heart. Start off with smaller distances and gradually work your way up. Another way of looking at the walking is to remember that cardiologists recommend walking for at least 30 minutes every day. This amount of walking apparently significantly reduces the risk of heart attack. Walking is also a great mood elevator, and assists with weight control.
* Exercise bikes like the Life Fitness 9500 recumbent exercise bike are another great way to improve cardiovascular health. These bikes come with heart monitors and various fitness and exercise programs to keep you motivated. Exercise bikes are a great way to keep the aerobic exercise going when the weather outside is too unpleasant.
* Swimming and aqua aerobics are other effective forms of aerobic exercise for those who like to get wet.
When participating in aerobic exercise it is important to stay well hydrated. Anyone who is unfit, over weight, has a health condition, or hasn’t exercised in a while, should seek a medical clearance before pulling on their running shoes.
We are what we eat, and our hearts have to keep pumping, despite what we consume. Diets high in salts and animal fats increase the build up of fatty deposits in blood vessel walls, resulting in the heart having to work a lot harder.
* The Mediterranean diet has long been famous for its heart healthy benefits. This diet promotes small amounts of meat, plenty of grains, heart healthy fats and oils, such as virgin olive oil, and a diet rich in colorful fruits and vegetables. The Mediterranean diet also allows red wine, in moderation. Garlic and omega-3 fish oils are also important ingredients.
* Flavonoids are antioxidants that are found in chocolate, fruits, vegetables, and some grains. Flavonoids have been shown to reduce blood pressure, and decrease bad blood cholesterol levels, both significant factors in heart disease. Soy protein, green tea, and chocolate containing more than 70% cocoa, were all found to be helpful in various ways for improving heart health.
* Red wine contains resveratrol, a natural compound, which has recently been shown to slow down the aging process in the hearts of mice. Even in low doses, the resveratrol seemed to alleviate the decline in heart function that is normally associated with aging. Resveratrol is found in large amounts in both red wine and grapes.
Ceasing smoking is an easy way to improve the health of your heart. Smoking increases blood pressure, and dramatically reduces the health of blood vessels. Smoking also contributes to deposits, or plaque, in vessel walls.
Healthy body weight.
The less you weigh, the less burden you are placing on your heart. Those extra pounds eventually add up to an overworked cardiovascular system. People suffering from type 2 diabetes also have a much higher chance of heart disease.
The more stress you encounter, the higher your blood pressure will be. High blood pressure is a known contributing factor to heart disease. Lowering your stress levels with yoga or gentle exercise will have you feeling better and take some points off your blood pressure.
LDL, or the unhealthy cholesterol, is responsible for forming fatty deposits on the inner walls of the vessels of your heart and brain. This eventually leads to heart attacks and strokes. Green tea and omega-3 fish oils are 2 simple and natural ways to reduce your LDL levels.
Heart healthy nutrients.
Calcium, CoEnzyme Q10, Vitamins C and E, Maitake, Ginkgo biloba, Magnesium, Selenium, and L-Carnitine, are all potentially powerful nutrients needed for optimal heart health. Many of these products are featured in antioxidant supplements. These substances can have damaging side effects when taken incorrectly. Consulting a health practitioner is recommended before taking any heart supplements. Consuming these products through natural whole foods is a much safer and healthier option. For more information on the dangers of antioxidant supplements you may like to read this article on the dangers of antioidants.