Heart Health Tips
- Have a sense of humor! A good laugh can send up to 20 percent more blood pumping through the body.
- Due to work-related stress, you’re most likely to have a heart attack on a Monday than any other day of the week! Try stress-relieving activities (like yoga or mediation) on this day.
- Men and women have different heart attack symptoms, and it’s actually more difficult for women to tell when they are having an attack. Women who feel faint or short of breath should call 911.
- Don't light up. Quit smoking, and you’ll cut your risk of coronary heart disease by 50 percent in just one year.
- Steer clear of smokers. Approximately 38,000 people die each year from heart and blood vessel diseases caused by secondhand smoke.
- Don't have time to fit in a full 30-minute workout? Try to fit in three, 10-minute sessions instead. Both provide the same benefits for your heart.
- Eat a diet low in these three nutrients: fat, cholesterol, and salt. They contribute to high cholesterol and blood pressure.
- Heart disease is the single biggest killer of both men and women. The best prevention tool is a healthy lifestyle and an annual doctor's appointment.
- Lack of sleep can lead to irregular heart function. Aim to get seven to nine hours!
- Get up from your desk. People who sit hunched over their computer for most of the day are 54 percent more likely to die of heart attacks.
- A broken heart can literally increase one’s risk for heart attack. Heal after a break-up by taking time to grieve and then surrounding yourself with positive friends.
- Wash dinner down with wine – but just one glass! Scientists have found that moderate amounts of red and white wines can be helpful in preventing heart disease.
- Big hearts really do exist. But they're not a sign of greater affection -- they indicate an increased risk for heart disease.
- Say "yes, please" to potassium. Loading up potatoes, tomatoes, bananas, and other potassium-rich foods can lower blood pressure by 10 points, according to a recent study.
- Get full off fiber. This heart-healthy nutrient can reduce blood cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease. Aim for 25 grams per day.
- When going out to eat, be wary these words: fried, au gratin, crispy, scalloped, pan-fried, sautéed, buttered, or creamed. They usually mean this dish is packed with heart-harming saturated fats.
- Be berry merry. Ladies who ate three or more bowlfuls of berries (specifically blueberries and strawberries) per week cut their of heart attack by approximately 30 percent.
- Eat chocolate. Indulging regularly could reduce your risk for heart attack by roughly 37 percent. Just keep the chocolate dark (more antioxidants) and the portion small (one ounce).
- Say Namaste. Yoga can help reduce irregular heartbeats.
- Eating well and exercising regularly has a greater impact on your risk for heart disease than your family history.
- Check sodium labels, and aim for less than 2,000 mg per day. A high salt diet significantly raises the risk of heart disease.
- Birth control (aka oral contraceptives) may increase blood pressure and women’s risk for heart disease. Ask your gynecologist about potential side effects before taking a contraceptive.
- The more you weigh, the more likely you are to suffer from heart disease. One study found that for every seven pounds a 5'10" man gains, his risk of heart disease increases by 11 percent.
- Light exercise such as walking for 30 minutes, four days out of the week significantly decreases your risk for heart disease.
- Make time for teatime. Researchers believe that sipping three cups of tea per day can decrease the risk of heart attack by 11 percent. Green tea, especially, may hold heart health benefits.
- Get moving to avoid heart disease. For every minute you walk, your life is extended by 1.5 to two minutes.
- Fish: It's what's for dinner. Seafood rich in omega-3 fatty acids (salmon, mackerel, herring, sardines and tuna) reduces inflammation and prevents high cholesterol and blood pressure.
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