Your heart is the crux of your circulatory system. Not only does your ticker send oxygen and nutrients to every part of your body, it filters out unwanted carbon dioxide and other waste too.
Without proper heart care, you could leave yourself open to a host of unwanted health issues and increase your chances of heart disease and heart attack. So here are some tips to better protect your heart:
Develop Healthy Eating Habits
The foods you choose play an essential role in heart health. Incorporate a variety of fruits, vegetables, and fish high in omega-3s, such as salmon and tuna into your diet often. Always give your grocery list an audit before heading out to the store. If it’s not heart-healthy, cross it off and replace it with a healthier option!
Participate in Stress Reducing Activities
There’s an abundance of things you can do to reduce stress. Exercising, keeping an active social life, reading, or taking up a hobby are all tremendous ways to keep stress levels at bay. Not only does stress affect heart health, it produces cortisol which can be detrimental to your immune, digestive, and reproductive systems. Mix it with a lack of exercise and you could be increasing your risk of prostate and other cancers.
Kick Smoking to the Curb
It’s never too late to quit smoking, and when you do, your body almost immediately starts to repair itself. According to the American Cancer Society both your heart rate and blood pressure will lower just twenty minutes after quitting. After twelve hours, your carbon monoxide level drops to normal.
Get Regular Check-ups
Participating in regular checkups not only fosters good communication between you and your primary doctor, it can help detect heart and other health problems early on. Your well visit may include an assessment of the following:
- Blood work
- Urine analysis
- Blood pressure
- Cholesterol levels
- Diet and exercise habits
- Tobacco, drug and alcohol use
Your doctor may also ask about your mental health and look for signs of depression or added stress.
While many may think that just taking a daily aspirin will help prevent a heart attack, it’s best to discuss with your doctor what cardiovascular protocol is right for you. If you are concerned about heart health, don’t be afraid to ask questions or tell your doctor about any changes in your lifestyle or physical condition. You can also take our FREE HEARTAWARERISK ASSESSMENT. Learn more about how the Parrish Healthcare Cardiovascular Team can assist with heart care and treatment for a better, healthier you!