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In the United States, one person passes away every 36 seconds from cardiovascular disease. The majority of these fatalities stem from heart disease — America’s leading cause of death.
Listed below are some heart-healthy activities that you can try to help manage your overall health.
Walking is one of many heart-healthy exercises recommended by the American Heart Association since it presents a low-risk for injury. Also, a brisk walk can help reduce the risk of high blood pressure, cholesterol, and diabetes. Each of these conditions puts you at a greater risk of developing heart disease.
To begin, it is recommended that you walk 30 minutes per day. Depending on your individual capabilities, you can continue to increase your walking intervals and intensity.
2. Get Better Sleep
Lack of sleep contributes to an increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease. In fact, it has been found that people who get less than six hours of sleep each night are twice as likely to have a heart attack or stroke.
For this reason, you should make sleep a top priority. If you already have trouble sleeping or have a diagnosed condition, it is recommended that you seek medical advice. These professionals can further advise on how to achieve a better night’s rest.
3. Eat More Consciously
In general, you should also focus on heart-healthy practices surrounding your food and drink intake. This tip will be different for everyone depending on your dietary restrictions; however, you should aim to include more healthy fats in your diet.
These do not include trans fats, which only increase your risk of clogging your arteries and increasing cholesterol. To begin planning healthier meals, it’s recommended that you explore heart-healthy recipes online.
4. Maintain Good Dental Hygiene
Often, those with gum disease also have the same risk of heart disease. For this reason, you should practice good oral hygiene– especially flossing.
Flossing helps reduce bacteria build up between the teeth and gums. A build-up can lead to gum disease. In some cases, the bacteria that causes this disease moves into the bloodstream.
Once there, the bacteria activate proteins that inflame blood vessels. As a whole, this puts you at a much higher risk of developing heart disease.
5. Reduce Stress
In moments of danger, the body releases chemicals that signal to your brain that you need protection. This results in what is commonly referred to as stress. A bit of stress isn’t harmful, but constant, long-term stress can be harmful.
When you become stressed, cortisol levels in the body increase. Too much of this hormone has been shown to increase triglycerides, blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol.
A common condition that can stem from these increased levels is atrial fibrillation. On that note, the commonality is astonishing. In fact, it’s the most common heart rhythm disorder, occurring in about 1 percent of the overall population.
To reduce your stress levels, engage in activities that you find soothing. This could be listening to music, yoga, or even animal therapy.
Further Exploration of Heart-Healthy Activities
Heart-healthy activities such as these should be done at your own discretion. Depending on your individual capabilities and previous diagnoses, you may want to avoid some of the suggestions listed above.
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