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How to keep heart healthy?

Natural ways to keep the ticker tolking. Posted on: 2011-10-12 02:11:20
The ol ticker is of chief concern to most of us as we age. It seems everyone from physicians to family members – and pharmaceutical companies, too – has an opinion on ways to keep a heart healthy. There’s so much information available, it can be a bit difficult to figure out what is the best course of action to take. The media reports on a new study almost every week, so how do you navigate the information without becoming overwhelmed? Can you make decisions without having to pay for a doctor visit? Absolutely, especially if you don’t have a condition that’s being managed already! The good news is, the basic tenets of good cardiovascular health are still the same.

1. Get some exercise
This mantra is repeated so much, it’s pretty much ingrained in the minds of everyone on every street in America. We know we have to move, but how often and for how long? Recommendations vary, some organizations say 30 minutes per day and others advise an hour. Choose a length of time somewhere in the middle, being sure to complete a combination of resistance training (free weights) and walking or running. Aim to exert yourself such that you can only speak in three- or four-word bursts during challenging periods of activity, then back down to a conversational pace. Alternating like this allows your heart to build capacity without taxing it too much and, if you include movements with dumbbells, will keep your bones strong.

2. Eat your greens
It hurts any child that has ever pushed a plate away, but Mom was right: vegetable are one of the best things for you. In addition to having a lower amount of calories – which is helpful if you’re carrying a few extra pounds – they are filled with antioxidants to aid cellular repair and fiber to keep your systems clear. Combining some steamed vegetables with a high-quality source of lean protein like salmon, which is high in heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, gives you a balanced profile of nutrients.

3. Stop smoking and curb drinking
The effects of cigarettes on your blood vessels and lungs are well-documented, so it goes without saying that removing them from your life will do loads to benefit your heart. When your blood moves through the arteries and veins easily, something made more difficult by the tension smoking causes, the heart’s job is made much less difficult. Similarly, having more than one or two servings of alcohol daily causes deposits of fat in the liver and other tissues, effectively creating an obstacle course for your blood. In either case, already-narrow openings are being partially or completely blocked and a heart attack is not far behind.

4. Go to sleep
Restlessness and insomnia put a lot of stress on the body. It’s natural to get worked up from time to time – we all do – but prolonged periods with less than 7 hours’ sleep a night wreak additional havoc on your systems. Imagine for a minute driving your car at high speed all day for months on end. Think that would damage your engine? This is what happens to your heart when you cut back on rest – the effect gets worse and worse until you eventually burn out. If you have trouble getting your mind to slow down at the end of the day, consider journaling or reading before bed. In both cases, your brain is given a release valve and calms down before you put your head on the pillow.
Posted By: Admin FYPosted on: 2011-10-12 02:13:01