How can I keep a strong and healthy heart?
These are the habits that our cardiologists recommend to maintain a healthy heart
It’s a fact: heart diseases are the leading cause of death in Mexico and the United States. For this reason, keeping a healthy heart, in an optimal state, should be one of your health priorities. The American Heart Association (AHA) estimates that 80% of cardiovascular diseases, which include heart diseases and cerebrovascular accidents or stroke incidents, can be prevented.
In fact, the reality is that many heart diseases can be prevented. If individuals take care of their hearts at ages 20, 30, and 40, they will not have to see the cardiologist as often throughout the rest of their lives. So, what can we do exactly to keep a healthy heart? Here are some tips from our cardiologists at Hospital CMQ to add to your routine and maintain a healthy heart as you get older.
Keep an active lifestyle and exercise at least 3 times per week
The AHA recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week. If this goal is difficult to meet, our experts recommend at least 75 weekly minutes of intense activity or a combination of moderate and intense exercise. Keep in mind that our specialists recommend distributing the exercise minutes throughout the entire week, rather than trying to do it all in one or two days.
Did you know that…
Physical activity is the fountain of youth. Exercising helps your cardiovascular system to become more efficient. If it is difficult to exercise every day, our experts recommend doing something daily that will raise your cardiac rhythm, such as walking or jogging.
Watch your blood pressure
Our medical attention providers recommend getting an annual general checkup. This can help detect any cardiac anomalies and keep up to date with your blood pressure. In addition, knowing your blood pressure range is extremely important, as there are no specific symptoms of high blood pressure (also known as hypertension). Having an uncontrolled range of blood pressure could cause a heart disease. Nonetheless, if you are diagnosed with high blood pressure, it is important that you follow your doctors’ recommendations. It is possible that your doctor will recommend some lifestyle changes or prescribe medication.
Pay attention to the type of diet you follow and the food you eat
Maintaining a diet rich in unprocessed foods is a very important part of a healthy lifestyle. The Hospital CMQ Nutrition Department recommends the following tips:
- Eat lots of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and legumes.
- Include healthy fats in your diet: extra virgin olive oil, avocados, seeds, and nuts.
- Enjoy dairy products, eggs, and poultry in moderation.
- Consume moderate amounts of fish. Fish is high in omega-3 fatty acids, which contain anti-inflammatory properties.
- Wine is fine in low to moderate amounts, preferably with meals.
- Limit sugary drinks and sweets.
- Reduce your intake of red meat.
- Eliminate processed foods from your diet.
Boost your heart health with a daily glass of red wine
There is some degree of confusion surrounding alcohol and a healthy heart. A study suggests that drinking a glass of red wine daily may reduce the risk of dying from heart disease. However, as of the date of publication of this article, there is nothing to show that drinking red wine improves heart health. There is a lot of talk about red wine being good for the heart, but in general, alcohol is a heart toxin. For this reason, experts usually do not recommend that women drink more than one alcoholic beverage per day, and two for men.
Lower your stress levels for a healthy heart
Stress can greatly damage your heart. Additionally, high levels of stress in the body also lead to inactivity and overeating, which can cause high blood pressure and high cholesterol, according to the AHA. Similarly, this increases the risk of heart disease. However, it is certainly difficult to avoid stress. For this reason, experts recommend adding activities like meditation and deep breathing exercises to your daily routine.
While most people know that smoking is linked to all kinds of serious health problems, it never hurts to repeat it. Smoking raises your blood pressure and increases the risk of heart attacks and strokes. Smoking is harmful for your heart and lungs; it’s harmful in every way. Staying away from smoking is so essential that experts say it is the single most important thing we can do to reduce our risk of heart disease.
Prioritize your sleep
Everyone’s needs are different, but experts recommend that most adults get between seven and nine hours of sleep each night. If you sleep less hours than is recommended, it could affect your heart. Getting too little sleep has been linked to high blood pressure and difficulty losing weight. It can also make you less inclined to exercise, which is not good for your heart. Along with this, sleep is also a time for the heart to “recharge.” When you sleep, your heart rate slows down, your hormones calm down, and you’re not under a lot of stress. As a result, sleep is good for your heart and overall well-being.