Take Care of Your Heart for Your Health
By Brandi Goodman
American Heart Month encourages people of all ages to learn better ways to care for their heart -- and their health. You need to do more than eat right and exercise. A more targeted approach is key to help take care of your heart and keep your well-being intact.
Eat Heart-Healthy Foods
Don't just choose some random fruits and vegetables at the market. Sure, they all have their beneficial qualities. But you want to choose options that are specifically beneficial to your heart health. Foods high in antioxidants and disease-fighting vitamins are key. You also need foods with healthy fats. Avocadoes, apples, spinach, blueberries, and salmon are good options.
Do Aerobic Exercise
You can't just stand and lift weights and expect it to work well for your heart. Sure, strengthening exercises are helpful for your body overall. But what you really need is to do aerobic exercise that gets your blood and oxygen pumping through your body. Your heart will benefit most from this type. Run. Swim. Bike. Dance. Enjoy the exercise you're doing and it will be even better.
Keep Stress to a Minimum
Stress has a direct impact on your heart. This is especially true when the stress is prolonged and continues regularly. It can raise your blood pressure and have you feeling on edge, possibly even causing chest pain. You need to do your best to keep stress to a minimum. This may means finding some stress relievers that actually work on the spot. Write in a journal. Take a break. Read a book. See a funny movie. Whatever it takes to reduce the stress in your life -- do it as soon as you can and often.
Smoking has dire consequences for your heart. It increases your risk for heart disease and can lead to a heart attack. Do your best to quit smoking on your own. If you can't, reach out to your doctor. There are numerous methods available that can help you control your nicotine cravings and kick your smoking habit to the curb.
Extreme emotions can actually lead to Broken Heart Syndrome. This very real condition is brought on by high emotion and stress. Reducing your symptoms of stress is important, but you also need to be sure to maintain connections and have a support system around you. Mental health causes problems for our hearts as well, and feelings of loneliness and isolation can quickly become a problem.
Do what you can to keep your heart healthy and functioning to the best of its ability. You can lead a healthier life and maintain your well-being with a properly working heart. Both physical and mental health are key in this regard.
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Pinole, Calif.