You don’t always need a doctor’s prescription to stay well, especially when it comes to maintaining a healthy heart. Here are simple ways to help keep your heart healthy on your own.
Laughter is Good Medicine
Laugh loudly and laugh often. Laughing is good for the soul and the heart, too. It can instantly boost your mood when you’re down or make you feel better when you’re sick. And yes, there’s a scientific reason for that. Laughing signals to your body that it’s time to release endorphins. Endorphins are your body’s way of providing an internal, natural high. As a result, you feel good and relaxed, which helps lower your blood pressure. Maintaining a healthy blood pressure can significantly decrease your chances of heart attack or stroke. According to the American Heart Association (AMA), laughing also helps improve your circulation and the function of blood vessels, which can also reduce the chance of a heart attack.
So hurry up and watch your favorite funny movie, call your hilarious uncle, or think back on some of the funniest moments of your life–any way to get those endorphins flowing!
You always hear the movers and shakers yelling, “I’ll sleep when I’m dead!” If you’ve regretted not being able to keep up with them because you like your sleep, don’t waste another moment fretting over it. Studies have shown that the more sleep you get, the more your heart will thank you. In fact, adults who sleep less than 6 hours a night are at an increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease, which can lead to heart attacks. Sleep gives your body the chance to recharge from the day and to gear up for tomorrow. Too little sleep can lead to more stress and an increase in blood pressure. Additional health concerns like weight gain can also result from sleep deprivation and can be a contributing factor to heart issues.
Food for a healthy heart
Food is fuel, and this is especially the case for your heart. Foods that are high in Omega-3 or help lower bad cholesterol are sure ways to maintain a healthy heart. Start by adding one of these to your meal:
- Avocado- This gives you the best of both worlds. Avocado’s help to lower the bad level of cholesterol in your body, but also raises the good kind.
- Oatmeal– Before you cook pancakes and bacon for breakfast, give oatmeal a try. Oatmeal helps lower your bad cholesterol and keeps arteries clear. These two things are important for a healthy heart.
- Fish– Eat fatty fish regularly–the AMA recommends at least twice a week. Fish, like salmon, that have Omega-3 fatty acids, are great for the heart. Omega-3 can help decrease triglyceride levels and reduce inflammation, which will help keep your heart happy and you healthier.
Live smoke free
If you’re a smoker, stop! If you don’t smoke, never start. You are unlikely to have a healthy heart if you smoke or are around smokers on a consistent basis. Smoking is one of the top causes of heart disease. Exposure to secondhand smoke can harm the heart and blood vessels, too. It also increases the chance of children and teens developing coronary heart disease as they get older.