Keeping a healthy heart is a top priority, considering the necessity of its function in the body. In a perfect world, we’d all have personal trainers and eat clean diets of whole grains and vegetables. Reality for most, however, means that smaller steps are more readily attainable. Maintaining a few healthy habits can go a long way toward improving and maintaining your heart health.
Get Enough Sleep
At least 7 hours of sleep each night, but not more than 9, can have a strong impact on heart health. A sound sleep gives the body time to regenerate and heal. Heathy sleep habits include going to bed at the same time each night, and removing distractions like television or technology from the bedroom. If you have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, talk to your doctor about patterns, habits, and how to get a better night’s sleep.
Relieve the Pressure
Your blood pressure is a strong indicator of heart health. High blood pressure means your heart is overworking itself. Talk to your doctor about ways to lower your blood pressure and reduce stress in your life. Pursuing interesting hobbies, engaging in a regular fitness routine, and avoiding caffeine can all help improve your blood pressure.
Take Care of Your Sugars
If you’re diabetic, keeping your sugars under control is crucial to your heart health. High sugar can damage artery walls over time. Diet and exercise may be enough to control Type II diabetes. Talk to your doctor about your nutrition and medication program and how to best manage your sugars and achieve a healthy heart.
Avoid Heart Harmers
Saturated fats, cholesterol, cigarettes, and alcohol are all dangerous to your heart health. If you currently smoke, try to quit. Some people are able to switch to less-harmful e-cigarettes or “vaping.” While vape “juice”- the liquid vaporized and inhaled- contains nicotine and other chemicals, it contains far fewer carcinogens than traditional cigarettes. Even e-cigarettes aren’t harmless, however, so speak with your doctor about techniques that can help you kick the habit for better heart health.