Help Your Heart Stay Fit and Strong With These 5 Heart-Healthy Habits
The heart is a unique organ in how its main job is to keep our blood flowing, yet this one task is the very reason why we’re alive and functioning. Nutrients, oxygen, immune cells, water, everything is in our blood and the heart pumps it from head to toe non-stop to make sure we get what we need to live every day.
Naturally, we all want a strong heart. The last thing we want is to have heart problems, especially since it will domino into more health problems. Give your heart the love it deserves by trying these 5 heart-healthy habits.
1. Eat more fiber
The best way to make sure the heart stays healthy and strong for the long term is by making sure we eat nutrients that will keep it that way. These are your leafy vegetables, fruits, and healthy oils. If going all-in is difficult, you can always start by including more fiber-rich foods.
Fiber can help maintain healthy cholesterol levels as well as manage blood pressure, two things that will keep heart problems away for a long time. Fiber is abundant in vegetables, but you can also choose to supplement them if food availability is an issue. A good example of fiber-based supplements are Psyllium Husk and Glucomannan.
2. Sweat more
Some exercise every now and then is good for you, but exercising everyday is better for your heart. You can always do the classic jogging, weightlifting, and swimming, but you can also opt to simply be more physically active.
You see, the heart doesn’t know the difference between lifting weights and getting a good workout because you cleaned the house. If gym access is a problem or if you don’t have the right tools with you, simply doing house chores, walking outside, climbing stairs, or doing yard work counts as exercise too!
3. Have higher quality of sleep
Sleep is what ties everything together when it comes to health and wellness. After all, it’s the only time when the body can focus on rejuvenation and recovery, especially in repairing any damage the heart incurs throughout the day. This is why health experts and gym buffs all agree that sleep is critical for health and wellness, and your heart agrees too.
4. Take it easy on the caffeine
Coffee is one of the most loved beverages, Period. It tastes good, comes in all shapes and sizes, and gives us that much needed boost when it counts. Drinking a few cups of coffee a day is great, but when you start drinking it like water, that’s when it becomes a problem.
You see, one of the many unwanted effects of caffeine consumption is how it can make your heart beat faster than normal. This is okay in most cases, as the beating will eventually go back to normal, but it’s not fine when the heart experiences this multiple times a day for long periods.
You will essentially “overwork” your heart and this could spell danger in the long-term if excessive caffeine intake becomes a habit.
5. Give yourself a break
One of the most overlooked aspects of health is stress, rather the time we allot to de-stress. We’re constantly bombarded by stressors - TV, social media, the street we live in, our home - that we end up tackling them all at once, not giving ourselves a break. If stress builds up over time, it will affect our body in a negative way, especially our heart.
So, remember to relax every now and then. Unwind, turn social media off, be in a silent room, or just lie on your back and close your eyes until the only thing you can hear is the sound of your heartbeat. It doesn’t have to be long. It can be a 15-minute nap or simply catching a breath of fresh air outside the house or atop the office balcony or garden.
Building healthy habits centered around the heart will only benefit you in the long run. Not only will the heart function better and longer, you will also learn to develop habits that help discipline you mentally as well as give you the ability to empty a bowl full of stress any time you want.
Regardless of how you take care of your heart, what matters is that you do, and that you’re paying attention to it. If you will invest time and effort in one organ, let it be your heart.