healthy heart

Heart disease is one of the leading causes of death in the US, but the good news is that you can dramatically reduce your risk for heart disease and keep this vital organ healthy in the long run, by simply adopting a slightly healthier lifestyle. The secret is to know the risk factors and to slowly eliminate them! Here are 7 very useful tips that will help you keep your heart healthy throughout the years:

1. Avoid Smoking!
With every cigarette, you expose yourself to a series of health problems, in addition to the visible effects smoking has on your body (yellow tooth, premature aging and such). Smoking can narrow down your arteries and trigger what is known as atherosclerosis, which is one of the risk factors of heart attack.

However, it is important to understand that even if you expose yourself to second-hand smoke (you inhale the tobacco smoke from those that surround you), the risk is equally high. Other notable side effects of smoking are increased heart rate or increased blood pressure. If you manage to quit smoking, not only will you be healthier but you will also save more money in the long haul.

2. You Are What You Eat!
Adopting a healthy, balanced and nutritious diet is important from several different points of view. In addition to preventing heart disease, a healthy diet will also help you maintain a stable weight over the years and deliver your body all the nutrients it needs to function normally. It is important to increase your daily intake of fruits and vegetables, as well as products that contain essential fatty acids (Omega-3 and Omega-6), such as fish. Also, beans are extremely beneficial for your heart.

At the same time, limit your intake of saturated fats and trans fats, which raise the levels of LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) and increase the risk for coronary heart disease.

3. Exercise Half An Hour A Day
This is by far one of the most important aspects you need to pay attention to, as adopting a healthy diet alone will not take you very far. By exercising at least 30 minutes on a daily basis, you will maintain a healthy weight, burn calories, relieve stress, boost your mood and regulate your blood pressure.

However, if you do not manage to workout on a daily basis, then try to exercise at least four days a week: it does not need to be an intense workout, you just need to focus on cardiovascular training that will make you sweat. You can opt for jogging, gardening, hiking, swimming or even housekeeping, as doing the household chores can be considered an exercise!