Heart Health and You: What You Need to Know
By Brandi Swieter
With February deemed American Heart Month, many people think they can stick to some healthy patterns for that timeframe alone and forget about the rest of the year. A healthy lifestyle should be implemented beyond February, with people always choosing nutritional foods and exercise over unhealthy options and sitting on the couch. There is much more to the story, however, than simply eating right and exercising to avoid heart disease. Certain foods help more than others, and particular exercises work best for getting the blood flowing and the heart pumping. There’s plenty that people need to learn about taking care of their hearts correctly to keep them in optimal working condition.
Bad and Good Cholesterol
There are two types of cholesterol, and each impacts the heart. Good cholesterol is necessary for heart health, ensuring the blood vessels remain unclogged and blood can flow freely. Bad cholesterol causes the vessels and arteries to get clogged, making it difficult for the heart to work efficiently. Certain foods should be consumed with higher amounts of good cholesterol in them. These include almonds, peas, beans, rice, and oatmeal, which are just a few good choices that contain plenty of soluble fiber that improves HDL levels.
Getting Enough Sleep
A lack of sleep can improve people’s chances for heart disease. This is because those who do not get adequate amounts of sleep often have higher levels of stress, and they may also suffer from a weakened immune system. The body needs the proper amount of rest to ensure it remains in ideal condition.
Don’t Sit for Too Long
Even those who get enough exercise in their day can still suffer heart episodes when they sit for far too long at one period of time. Those who sit down while they work are especially at risk. Deep vein thrombosis, which can cause blood clots in the leg, tends to occur to those who sit frequently. Breaking up periods of sitting by going for a quick walk or simply getting up and stretching is the best way to combat this problem.
Heart health should always be a priority, whether a month calls for it or not. Everyday people should make the choice to keep their hearts strong and healthy by making health-conscious decisions. It goes far beyond eating right and exercising.
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Gold River, Calif.