Taking care of your heart is one of the best things that you can do for health. Although February is officially labeled as American Heart Month, it’s important to take care of your heart all year long. Society has done a good job of normalizing coronary heart disease, heart failure and the like. As a result, many people think that diseases of the heart are a normal rite of passage as we age.
But they’re not. I know it’s confusing because there’s an overload of information out there. But the truth is, unless you’re dealing with a congenital heart defect or drug abuse, hearts can beat healthfully into a century of life and you don’t necessarily have to live in a blue zone to do it.
Don’t believe me? Here are five ways to take care of your heart.
Smoking causes devastating effects to the heart. As a matter of fact, the statistics are startling. According to Cleveland Clinic, smokers have a two-fourfold increase in coronary heart disease and are more likely to die from the coronary heart disease than non-smokers.
Stress is a major consideration when it comes to keeping hearts healthy. Although exercise is generally considered “good stress”, a stress test can be used to determines ones likelihood of developing coronary heart disease by applying the external stress of exercise on the heart and seeing how it responds.
The heart is a muscle. As a result, moderate and consistent exercise is needed to keep it healthy.
Other things you can do include reducing stress and your response to it. But no matter how much we try, some stress is just unavoidable. As an ambassador of RidgeCrest Herbals, I am amazed by how Anxiety Free has really helped me maintain my cool and keep stress levels down even during the most challenging times.
Compounds like theanine, holy basil and ashwagandha naturally help to support stress response. Fortunately, RidgeCrest’s Stress-Free Complex contains all three. I literally take two capsules as part of my morning supplements and I’m good to go. Now that I’m a few months in, I can really tell the difference in how I feel.
Yoga is also an amazing tool for reducing stress and a great way to take care of your heart. As a matter of fact, there’s an easy and affordable way to practice yoga at home.
RidgeCrest also has a blood pressure formula and the reviews on Amazon are pretty good.
As always, check with your health care provider before starting any new supplements or wellness regimen. You can read my full policy disclosure here.
Did you know that when it comes to heart health there’s another test that you should be requesting from your doctor. Nope it’s not hemoglobin A1C and it’s not a cholesterol test.
Have you heard of a C-reactive protein test? C reactive protein, also known as CRP, is a protein that is measured in your blood that increases when there is inflammation.
Haven’t heard of it? I’m not surprised. Keep reading and I’ll tell you more. High levels of CRP indicate inflammation which could be due to infection, chronic disease or an increased chance of heart disease.
It’s important to note that a high CRP is only one risk factor of heart disease risk. There are other factors that could cause a high C-reactive protein. So talk with your doctor.
Eat the Right Foods
When it comes to choosing heart healthy foods, here’s what you need to know. Eating lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, a diet in lower saturated fats, rich in olive oil and low in sugar has consistently shown to be the most beneficial for heart health.
Try these heart healthy recipes like confetti chicken salad, sauteed kale with lemon, cauliflower rice and flaxseed chocolate pudding to get you started on the right track.
Get Enough Sleep
Getting a good night’s rest is more than about ” beauty rest”. Although that’s the case, millions of Americans still don’t get enough sleep. Adults need seven to nine hours of sleep a night. Getting less than 6 hours of sleep can have devastating effects on your health and on your heart.
When it comes to taking care of your heart, not getting enough sleep can increase hormones like cortisol (the stress hormone). Increased levels of cortisol result in obesity, diabetes and heart disease.
So getting adequate sleep is pivotal for a healthy heart. In today’s culture, lack of sleep is worn like a badge of honor when in reality, it’s nothing to be proud of.
So if you’re serious about getting heart healthy, it’s important to note that wellness is more than about getting massages and going on vacations. It takes effort. It’s takes work. Use these five tips as a springboard to better health and a healthier heart.
Thanks to RidgeCrest Herbals for sponsoring this post.
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How to Add Yoga to Your Wellness Routine
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