HEALTHY HEART HABITS (PART II)
Welcome to Part 2 of this post! Read on about the ten remaining healthy heart habits.
11 of 20: TAKE IN LESS FAT
To reduce your chances of getting heart disease, you must reduce your saturated fat intake to less than 7% of the total amount of calories you take daily. That's about 140 to 200 calories or 16 to 22 grams of saturated fats for a 2000 calories diet. The calories in most fatty foods come from saturated fats that can increase your LDL (low-density lipoprotein) or bad cholesterol. LDL causes plaque to form in your arteries. Always check the labels of food products for their nutritional information to keep tabs on how much saturated fats you're consuming every day. Additionally, avoid food products that contain too much saturated fats.
12 of 20: HAVE A HOBBY
Hobbies are stress relievers; they are a break from the hustle and bustle of daily activities. Although some may be just as strenuous as working a 9 to 5, they are rather fun and enjoyable. Most hobbyists say it also gives them a sense of purpose - that's a huge difference! Hobbies also provide the body with some form of light to moderate physical activity to engage in. This helps to keep your blood pressure down and reduces your cortisol (the stress hormone). The result is usually a healthy heart. Some heart-healthy hobbies you can learn and engage in are knitting, woodwork, painting, gardening, dance, hiking, scrapbooking and cooking.
13 of 20: KEEP TABS ON YOUR VITALS
To keep your heart healthy, you need to keep a close eye on your cholesterol, blood sugar, blood pressure and triglycerides. These vitals have an impact on your heart. You need to be aware of the levels for each of these vital signs that are ideal for your age and gender. Check-up regularly on these vitals with your doctor and go the extra mile to keep your own records of them.
14 of 20: PUT ON YOUR DANCING SHOES
Kick up your heels! Learn some moves and dance to your favourite beat or tune. Dancing is a great and enjoyable workout option that increases your heart rate and gets your lungs pumping. It's also a fast calorie-burner – burns more than 200 calories per hour. The more intense the dance (Zumba, Salsa, Ballet or Hip-Hop), the more calories you burn.
15 of 20: LAUGH HEARTILY
They say laughter is the best medicine - that sure is the truth! When you laugh, your heart rate rises while you take in a lot of air; this pumps a lot of oxygenated blood through your body and improves your heart function. When your heart functions well, your risk of getting heart disease is minimal. Laughing also releases endorphins ('feel-good' hormones) that cause your body to relax and your blood pressure to drop. This takes tension off your heart. Take our advice, bring a lot of laughter into your life by watching lots of comedies, hanging out with a friend who has a great sense of humour or cracking jokes often. Do anything to get your sides splitting!
16 of 20: DRINK UP BUT LESS OFTEN
Drinking alcohol in moderation can do your heart a lot of good. Alcoholic drinks increase your HDL (High-Density Lipoprotein) or good cholesterol. They also stop the formation of blood clots and damage in your arteries. Red wine, in particular, is the best choice for an alcoholic drink since it has a lot of benefits to offer the heart. Red wine contains resveratrol, a plant compound that acts as an antioxidant. Resveratrol can stop blood vessel damage and the formation of blood clots and reduce Low-Density Lipoprotein (LDL) or bad cholesterol.
17 of 20: STEEP THOSE BAGS
Two or three cups of black or green tea a day is needed to keep your ticker healthy. Drinking tea has been associated with improved heart health. The heart benefits you get from drinking tea are attributed to polyphenols, a compound found in black and green tea. Polyphenols improve the function of the blood vessels by making them dilate more than become constricted. The compound also increases good cholesterol.
18 of 20: DO YOGA
As a relaxation technique, Yoga keeps the heart healthy by helping you to relax or stay calm. This reduces your blood pressure and keeps your heart healthy. It also improves heart health by increasing circulation and reducing your cholesterol level and heart rate.
19 of 20: GET A MOVE ON
A sedentary lifestyle can impact your heart health negatively and shorten your life span eventually. Physical inactivity can cause fatty material to build up in your arteries that can lead to a heart attack or stroke. If you're a sedentary worker, take breaks to pace about or do something physical during your lunch breaks. If you're not working and are at home, remember to go for regular brisk walks outside your home or even take quick strolls in your backyard.
20 of 20: OWN A PET
Pets, particularly dogs and cats can help you cope with stress, depression and ease loneliness by serving as very great companions. They also encourage exercise and playfulness. These benefits help to improve heart health (this fact is backed by many studies). So, go get a pet. Call a pet shelter or your local pet adoption center, there are lots of homeless animals out there who need a home. And go for a walk, a swim, on a picnic, play ball or do something active with your pet.
Disclaimer: The information shared by this post is for informational purposes only. It is not meant to be professional medical advice nor a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Consult your physician concerning anything you have read here.
By Nana Ama Afoa Osae I Writer I GreatWonderful Team
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