5 Ways to Make Your Heart Healthier

 | Health  | 11 Comments

Tahoe-Zuzka-forest-bathing

It’s unavoidable. Life is constantly pulling you in so many directions, and you can only be stretched so thin before stress begins to take its toll. This can wear you down making you more susceptible to heart disease.

Did you know that every 1 in 3 people has heart disease?

It’s the #1 killer of both men and women and has claimed more lives than cancer, respiratory disease, diabetes and even accidents combined.

Your heart works so hard for you and literally nonstop for your entire life. So, it’s time to start showing it some TLC. By making some small changes in your habits, you can make a huge difference to your loyal ticker!

Let’s take a look at just five ways that you can easily start making your heart healthier today:

Start by Improving the Amount of Sleep You Get Each Night:  Everyone is guilty of pulling an all-nighter from time to time, or of wanting to stay up just a little later to watch that show on tv. But did you know just how important a full night’s sleep is for your heart?

According to a study published in the American Heart Association journal, Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology, research showed that young and middle-aged adults who sleep at least 7 hours a night had less calcium in their arteries. Too much calcium present is an early sign of heart disease and is more common in those who slept 5 hours or less.

Eat the Healthy Fats NOT the Trans Fats: We need fats in our diet, but the one fat we don’t need is trans-fat. Trans fats are known for increasing your risk of developing heart diseases and even strokes during your lifetime. By cutting these fats out from your diet, and sticking to foods high in saturated and polyunsaturated and unsaturated fats, you can improve the blood flow in your body. Steer clear of things like packaged baked goods, snack foods, margarine and fried fast foods.

Start Avoiding Any Secondhand Smoke: According to the American Heart Association, the risk of you developing heart disease goes up by 25-30% when you constantly find yourself exposed to secondhand smoke. Whether it’s at work or home, why take that risk?

Tobacco smoke exposure is what contributes to about 34,000 premature heart disease deaths, and even causes roughly 7,300 lung cancer-related deaths each year. On top of all that, nonsmokers who have high blood pressure suffer an even greater risk of developing heart disease when exposed to secondhand smoke. This is due to the chemicals emitted from cigarette smoke which cause plaque to buildup in your arteries.

Get in Touch with Nature: Take a walk outside and enjoy a little sunshine. Sunlight helps produce Vitamin D in your body, which is linked to better heart health. Start small by taking a 15 to 30 minute walk a day.

You can even take that walk a step further by practicing the popular Japanese activity called “shinrin-yoku” or forest bathing. Research on this practice found that people who took a walk through a wooded area as opposed to a more urban area, had lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol present, a reduced heart rate, and even lower blood pressure.

A 2011 British review of 11 studies found that people who exercised outside generally reported to have more energy, and felt refreshed as opposed to the anger and tension that they sometimes felt while working out indoors at a gym.

Stay Hydrated: Your body is made up of about 83% water, while your brain and muscles are made up of roughly 3/4 water. Even your bones pack about 22% water. Water is what greatly contributes to every single metabolic process in your body, including the absorbing of required nutrients and the removing toxic waste.

When it comes to helping your heart pump blood more easily through the blood vessels, it’s best to remember the importance of keeping the body hydrated. Drinking several 8oz. glasses of water a day can reduce your chance of a fatal heart attack. The water dilutes the blood, making it less likely to clot and lead to an attack. According to Low Country Spine & Sport’s medicine physician, John Batson, M.D: “If you’re well hydrated, your heart doesn’t have to work as hard.”.

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Comments



11 comments on “5 Ways to Make Your Heart Healthier”

  1. private avatar image
    Private

    Private  | 

    Hi Zuzka!
    Thank you for your posting about heart health! Being an open heart recovery ICU nurse, I am passionate about heart disease prevention and treatment. Even tho I’m only 30 years old, I’ve been an ICU nurse for 9 years and I’ve seen MANY tragedies in young lives that could have been prevented with healthy lifestyle habits.
    And I’m definitely at fault because I work night shift full time and I don’t sleep enough. But, of course, you do your best to be healthy in every situation in which you find yourself. 🙂
    Thanks again for your attention on cardiac health!♡♡
    Brittany

  2. private avatar image
    Private

    Private  | 

    Greetings,
    This is great subject, I appreciate so much your work,

    You can search for some delicious recipes and more beneficial information’s for vitality to apply ,
    here’s preposition.
    “America’s top heart hospital, the Cleveland Clinic, picked the best 10 fruits for boosting heart health”

    I’ll add pomegranates, honey , watermelon , red mullet , spinach, green salad and tuna fish to exotic list.
    For extra immunity and better sleep, you can always relax by drinking nettle tea with honey.

    While doing yoga, shinrin-yoku and workouts, clear your mind, be in the present moment and focus on breathing.
    Forget about your toes, think on your hands in the sky and then stop thinking.
    I’m usually taking a nap for about 40 minutes to one hour after workouts and that’s exactly what we need to do for sake of our hearts.

    Then..
    Why should you walk barefoot? It may sounds eccentric but actually who cares?

    A review published in the Journal of Environmental and Public Health looked at a number of studies that highlight how drawing electrons from the earth improves health. In one, chronic pain patients using grounded carbon fiber mattresses slept better and experienced less pain.

    Another study found that earthing changed the electrical activity in the brain, as measured by electroencephalograms. Still other research found that grounding benefited skin conductivity, moderated heart rate variability, improved glucose regulation, reduced stress and boosted immunity.

    Earthing means walking barefoot on soil, grass or sand (meaning: any natural surface). So we’ll have to get off the sidewalk. Early studies are showing that the health benefits come from the relationship between our bodies and the electrons in the earth. The planet has its own natural charge, and we seem to do better when we’re in direct contact with it.

    One particularly compelling investigation, published in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, found that earthing increases the surface charge of red blood cells. As a result, the cells avoid clumping, which decreases blood viscosity. High viscosity is a significant factor in heart disease, which is why so many people take blood thinning aspirin each day to improve their heart health. Another study in the same journal found that earthing may help regulate both the endocrine and nervous systems.

    As we walk, our breathing starts to synchronize with our motion. We experience a sense of expansion and freedom. Ultimately, walking becomes more than just exercise; it becomes a form of healing, removing our stress and replacing it with wellbeing on every level and also creates physical and emotional rhythms.
    Anyway, you know where you can get the best connection, just beware of the wild animals. =)

    • private avatar image
      Private

      Private  |  Jura, France

      I am also into barefoot, so what do you do personally?

  3. private avatar image
    Private

    Private  |  FL, USA

    Thank you for this article. I can definitely attest to the benefits of exercising outdoors. When I ride my horse, I have much more energy. Plus, I feel less stressed and generally happier. When I have to stay away from riding for more than a week, I notice my mood and energy levels plummet.

  4. private avatar image
    Private

    Private  |  Jura, France

    My polar chestband and A360 fit test tells me I have an Elite heart.
    My doctor was impressed while listening to my heartbeats. I like to concentrate to make my beats go low, with Buteyko type of breathing (you could name it meditation)
    My driver for healthy life has always been sleep. I need to be better at hydration. I live in a remote outdoor place up in the mountains, air is fresh, but we still need to go and be outdoors (inside home can be packed with unhealthy things to inhale).

    • private avatar image
      Private

      Private  |  Curitiba, Parana, Brazil

      You live in such an awesome place…I may visit you someday! Hahahaha…nice to know about meditation…I need to sleep more. See you and take care.

  5. private avatar image
    Private

    Private  |  Minnesota, USA

    Interesting to hear about the forest bathing. I often prefer to get in the car and drive to the forest to walk/run with my dog instead of walking him in town. I never thought about why, I just get a “meh” feeling about walking him in town or urban areas.

    I saw a comment about being barefoot outdoors. When I lived in FL I used to go barefoot running on sandy trails in the woods, and sometimes barefoot hiking. Now that I live in a cold climate again I typically am only barefoot in my yard (and in winter that’s only if my dog needed to go out urgently- it is COLD, painfully cold, to stand barefoot in snow!!).

  6. private avatar image
    Private

    Private  | 

    Great post! Side note: super cute top! Can I ask where it came from?

    Thxxx

    • private avatar image
      Private

      Private  | 

      It’s Titika! It’s a Toronto brand with a great sales section and the online is pretty good! You should check it out 🙂 the owner has a really great story of how she moved manufacturing to her poor hometown in China and provides better housing for her workers. Really highly recommended! The fit is normal except the arms are quite small in long sleeved tops!

  7. private avatar image
    Private

    Private  |  USA

    Great post, Z!! Whenever I have to pass someone smoking, I always hold my breath because I don’t want to breathe that second hand smoke in 🙂

  8. private avatar image
    Private

    Private  |  Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

    I love this forest bathing idea. I live in a major city, and we have some nice parks… but whenever I went camping or stayed at a cabin, my dark circles would disappear. I would feel really refreshed and wake up early naturally. I’m planning to establish a home-based business so I can move further out 😀

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