How to Improve your Heart Health

The heart, is a muscle! It is a fist size, muscular organ. Yet, it is connected with a broad network of veins and arteries all over the body. This network of heart (including heart) is called the cardiovascular system. Cardiac or cardio refers to the heart!
Cardiovascular refers to the network of heart.

how-to-improve-heart-health
The function of the heart is to collect the blood from all parts of the body. It purifies the blood. It receives oxygen from the lungs and supply oxygenated blood along with nutrients throughout the body! Heart pumps in and out the blood, which is reflected through heart beats. This is the basic concept of heart function. What happens when the heart fails to supply or collect blood? Simple, you suffer from blood clots. Your body doesn’t receive oxygen and purified blood. It leads to inflammation and you might probably die! I don’t want to scare you but just want to tell you the importance of heart and its health!

Proper functioning of the heart is inevitable. There are people who lived for years in coma. There are people who survived for years, even when they were declared brain dead. But, there is no life without a healthy heart!

What affects your heart?

The top four elements that affect your heart are,

  • High cholesterol
  • High blood pressure
  • Smoking and alcohol
  • Physical inactivity

Among these, cholesterol is the major culprit, which is closely followed by high blood pressure. However, there is a silent killer that shoots up the blood pressure levels, which is nothing but stress.

Cholesterol and Heart Health

Heart health is linked more with cholesterol levels in the body. Cholesterol is made in the body. It is responsible for hormones, building new cells and insulation of nerves. In fact, the liver produces almost the desired amount of cholesterol our body needs. Besides, cholesterol is also derived from the foods like meat, oils, and dairy.

Our body secretes two types of cholesterol,

  • HDL – High Density Lipoprotein / Good cholesterol
  • LDL – Low Density Lipoprotein / Bad cholesterol

There is another form of cholesterol, which is in fact a form of fat, called Triglycerides.

HDL – It is like a scavenger that removes the blocks, clogs, and toxins from the arteries. In fact, HDL removes the LDL from the arteries and moves it back to the liver. It is essential to manage good levels of HDL in the blood stream. It also prevents the risk of heart disease.

LDL – This is the culprit behind a majority of heart problems. It is a dense and solid plaque that deposits as hard clogs in the arteries. It makes the arteries less flexible. Since arteries and blood veins are found all over the body, LDL can form a clog anywhere.

Triglycerides are nothing but the extra calories we eat everyday and that which gets stored in the form of fats in our body. It leads to excessive weight, obesity and a lot of other problems.

How LDL affects the heart?

When you eat more foods that are high in cholesterol, the excess cholesterol is deposited as LDL in the form of clogs. When there is a clog in any artery, your heart doesn’t get sufficient blood and oxygen. With poor oxygen supply, heart cannot function effectively. It makes the heart muscles weak. When the clog opens up or breaks, it may lead to blood clot. A blood clot completely blocks the artery and leads to heart failure.

How LDL affects the brain

LDL clog can happen anywhere in the body. If the plaque buildup affects the blood and oxygen supply to brain, it results into stroke.

There are no symptoms of high cholesterol levels in the body. Even a healthy individual with an average body can have high cholesterol.

So, only a blood test can tell you about the level of cholesterol.

High Blood Pressure and Heart Health

Next to cholesterol, blood pressure is closely related to heart failure. In fact, sudden increase in the pressure level may lead to a cardiac arrest in no time.
Blood pressure is measured in two variations:

  • Systolic pressure: Refers to the pressure in the arteries when the blood is filled in the arteries.
  • Diastolic pressure: Refers to the pressure in the arteries when the blood is emptied by the arteries.

Both measurements are assessed by heart beat rate during inflow and outflow of blood.

Normal pressure level is 120 / 80 mm Hg (Systolic / diastolic).

If the systolic pressure rise above 140 and diastolic pressure rise above 90, it indicates high blood pressure. In fact, when the pressure is high, blood flows in a rapid pace. The arteries (muscles) cannot withstand the pressure created by the blood inflow and outflow. Due to high pressure, the arteries become weak and fail to function effectively.

Similarly, the narrowness of the arteries or any clogs in the walls, when combined with high blood pressure, it may lead to heart attack.

Smoking and Heart Health

Even the kids know smoking is harmful to health. Smoking not only affect your lungs, but the whole body!

When you smoke, the nicotine from the cigarette mixes with your blood and oxygen. It certainly spoils them. Heart purifies the blood and oxygen. When it contains toxins, the responsibility of the heart increases. It works with extra pressure.

Too much pressure to the heart affects the muscles. Also, the toxins from smoking buildup in blood vessels in the heart, which affects the blood circulation. Smoking affects your cardiac health! But smokers won’t budge! They find smoking a great stress buster!

Did you know this secret on how smoking relieves stress?

When you ask a smoker, why you smoke, the staple answer would be, ‘I’m so tensed. Smoking helps me find some relief!’ The common reason behind smoking is stress and hypertension. It is not the nicotine or tobacco that provides you relief from stress! When you smoke, you inhale and exhale your breathe deeply (it’s a different story that it accompanies smoke) at least for a couple of minutes. Even when you do some deep breathing for a couple of minutes (without a cigarette), you can find relief from stress! Your mind will be clear and free from clogs. The secret is deep breathing! And not smoking!

Alcohol and Heart Health

Although consumption of alcohol is healthy for the heart, too much alcohol shoots up the blood pressure and lead to congestive heart failure.

Physical Inactivity and Heart Health

Your heart is a fist size organ. It started working even before you were born and will work until your last breath. It needs some motivation from you! When you remain inactive and stay lethargic, your heart gradually copies you and lead to heart failure!

Physical inactivity is not something which indicates only towards couch potatoes. If you work for more than 10 hours a day, even then you may fall in the category of physically inactive people! You are more likely to remain physically inactive due to sitting in your chair throughout the day and lack of time for self care. Sitting is the new smoking, they say!

In addition to these major causes that damage your health, there is one more silent killer, called STRESS!!!

Too much stress is not good for Heart Health!

It accounts as one of the major causes of heart attack in youngsters and middle aged population. Everyone has a lots of reason to get too much stressed. Know that stress is a silent killer. Don’t let stress, gain control over you!

A lot of stress affects your brain. Also, it increases the blood pressure level. When you are stressed your brain lacks oxygen and may lead to stroke or sudden cardiac failure.

How stress affects your heart? Whenever you are caught into a stressful situation, a chain of events is set off. Your body releases a hormone called adrenaline which causes your breathing and heart rate to speed up and your blood pressure also rises. These reactions prepare you to deal with the situation. You may either “fight or flight”! When stress is constant, you remain in high gear for days or weeks together. All this time, you are with high blood pressure and heart rate! Chronic stress may also cause some people to drink too much alcohol or smoke continuously. This also increases your blood pressure and may damage the artery walls leading to negative effects on heart health.

Top 10 Bad Habits that Affect your Heart Health

Alarmingly, cardiovascular disease is the major cause of death in the USA. Almost one in three individuals are diagnosed with cardiac problems in the USA. In many countries, the percentage of people with cardiac problem are increasing. The major cause is sedentary lifestyle and poor eating habits. Besides, there are few bad habits that affect your heart. Following are the top 10 bad habits that impact heart health.

1. Watching television for hours

Sitting for hours before television is not just an unhealthy habit. It is a part of a sedentary lifestyle as well as makes you a couch potato! Besides, it increases the risk of heart attack and stroke.

Cardiovascular Clinical Research Center in New York states even doing exercises may not prevent the risk of diseases when you sit infront of television for abnormal periods. Sitting before television means lack of movement. It affects the sugar level, fat level and pressure level in the body. Even doing exercises may not be sufficient enough to compensate such sitting hours.

2. You snore, but you ignore

Snoring isn’t anything uncomplicated. More than an annoyance to your family, snoring is often a warning sign of a serious issue. Snoring is an outcome of a breathing disorder called, sleep apnea. Interrupted breathing during sleeping makes you snore. Snoring skyrocket your blood pressure and increases the risk of heart failure.

3. Loneliness

You may love staying alone and get disconnected from the world. Sometimes you would feel like, ‘these people are so irritating! I’m done with them!’ However, loneliness affects you in many ways. In other terms, when you are with people, your family, friends, social group, etc. it enhances your emotions and boosts you psychologically. You definitely need to disconnect from the world for some time, but that’s not a permanent option.

4. Abrupt changes in physical activities- too much or too little!

There are many middle aged people who suddenly realize the importance of staying healthy. They rush themselves and follow a schedule full of exercise routines, yoga classes, fitness training , change in diet etc. The worst part is, although they begin this journey with good intentions, not even 20 % continue it for more than a month. Most of them get hurt or get bored and stop everything. A sudden jump and a sudden fall damages your heart!

5. Red meat lovers , look at your heart health too!

Red meat, regardless of how it is treated and cooked, is very high in saturated fat. Carnitine is a protein building block which is present in high amounts in beef, lamb, and venison. According to a new study, bacteria in the intestines convert carnitine into compounds which speed up the process ofs hardening and thickening of artery walls. The redder the meat, the more carnitine it has. Pork, in spite of being a red meat, doesn’t have as much carnitine as beef, lamb and venison. Chicken and fish are safe as they have very low amounts of carnitine, if any.

6. Living with a smoker

It is not only smoking that kills, but also living with a smoker is unhealthy for your heart. You are exposed to all the risks of smoking, even when you don’t smoke yourself. A study on causes of heart failure revealed that passive smoking is one of the major cause of poor heart health.

7. Suddenly stopping your medicines

Remember, if you are prescribed with any medicine for any disease for a prolonged period, don’t stop it without consulting your doctor. Suddenly stopping a medicine may even lead to cardiac arrest.

8. Too much salt

Without salt, food tastes bad. Everyone agrees. Yet, too much salt is bad for health, including heart health. It increases blood pressure, affects your kidney and even enhances the risk of stroke.

9. You ignore stress and depression

Stress brings with it stress hormones, higher levels of cortisol and higher glucose levels leading to imbalance in body functioning which affects your heart. Also, when you are stressed, anxious or feeling down, you don’t bother to make healthy choice because you are so overwhelmed by your situation. So, avoid stress and depression and if you have been neglecting or denying these two till now, pay attention and take corrective measures to improve your heart health.

10. Other causes that damage your heart

  • Overeating
  • Too much alcohol consumption
  • You presume you are healthy

When you know the causes, how your heart is more likely to get damaged, you can easily avoid these traps and resort to healthy lifestyle.

Are you at the risk of heart disease?

Is your heart healthy or are you at the risk of heart disease? Check out these to get the answer!

Family history in the line

Heart disease runs in the family! It is a genetic problem. If your father or uncle or grandfather has been diagnosed with heart problems, you are more likely to suffer from cardiovascular problems. Even if any of your close relative (blood related to your father or mother) is diagnosed with a heart problem, don’t ignore it. Make sure your heart is healthy and functions properly.

Waistline is a warning sign

What is the size of your waist? This answer counts on your heart health. If your waistline is bigger, you have 80 % chance to develop cardiac problems like blockage in the heart valves or walls. If your waistline is bigger, literally you are obese. Overweight is a major cause of heart diseases. Lose weight!

No entertainment

We know, you are a busy man or busy woman with a lot of commitments, responsibilities and tasks to complete in a short time! When you focus on everything but some sort of entertainment for relaxation, it builds up a lot of pressure. Think about some hard working individuals who often lost their lives to cardiac arrest. Remember, there is no life if you have nothing called relaxation.

You love junk foods

There is a lot, really a lot riding on junk foods! Even though some foods are labeled JUNK, people are resorting to it and feasting! If you eat junk foods too often, be assured the junk foods is damaging your heart.

How do you save yourself from a heart failure? Or how to make your heart healthy? Just check the above factors once and make sure you reduce the risk of not falling into the categories mentioned above.

Heart Friendly Foods

1. Flax Seeds

Flax seeds are popular as an omega 3 fatty acid rich ingredient. Yet, it is one of the rich sources of fiber. In addition, it contains a rare micronutrient called lignin. Lignin is a combination of plant estrogen and loads of antioxidants. When compared with other plant based foods, flax seeds contain almost 80 times higher lignin!

  • Dry roast the flax seed and powder it. Add a teaspoon of flax seeds to any food you cook!
  • Don’t bother about your heart!

2. Pome, apple, tomatoes, beets and cherries- the power of red

Choose the red color fruits and veggies. These are foods with high beta carotene, which is a form of anti-oxidant. It is not only good for skin, but also for your heart. Beta carotene fights against the free radicals that damage your muscles, including heart muscle.

3. Kidney beans

Consuming a cup of kidney beans every alternative day or thrice a week, reduces the risk of heart disease by 50 %. How? It contains soluble fiber. Beyond this, kidney beans can bind the cholesterol and protect the body from absorbing the cholesterol. As an additional benefit, it is a protein rich food, which repairs the damaged muscles and builds stronger muscles.

4. Taro Root

Taro root is not a very popular vegetable labeled with health benefits. Although it is a root vegetable, it is light, low in calorie and low in fat . Also called arbi, it has anti-depressant and laxative properties. It provides you relief from or reduces anxiety and promotes good sleep. It is one of the best sources of dietary fibers and it contains vitamin E! Next to bananas, arbi contains a lot of potassium, which enables the healthy functioning of muscles and nerves. All these collectively help promoting heart health as well as regulating blood pressure.

5. Chocolates

Yeah, here is the long awaited positive aspect about eating chocolates. Just like green tea and some fruits, chocolates are rich in antioxidants, flavonoids and minerals. When you eat some chocolate, you will feel light and happy! Yea, chocolates de-stresses you, secretes the happy hormones, stimulates your brain, fights against anti-oxidants, etc.

Is there any delicious way to boost your heart health? However, not all chocolates. You should stick to dark chocolates.

6. Red Wine

Alcohol is bad for the heart, but when you drink in moderation it is certainly healthy! Forget about alcohol, drink red wine! Taking an ounce of red wine daily boosts your heart health. Red wine is like a heart tonic.

Myths about heart health

There are a lot of myths and misconceptions surrounding around the heart health. Following are the few myths that you should never consider.

1. All exercises are healthy for the heart

An absolute false statement. Aerobics are good for heart. Weightlifting (not those tiny weights) and hardcore gym exercises aren’t definitely good for the heart.

2. Women have a lower risk of heart diseases

Equivalent to men, women are equally exposed to the risk of heart problem. However, heart problem isn’t something considered a major health malady in women as there are other health conditions to be worried about. In addition, when a man feels slight discomfort in chest, everyone panics. When a woman feels so, the concern doesn’t appear. Why! Because menstrual health, breast cancer, and other concerns overlapped heart diseases in women.

3. Heart problem is a concern only for middle aged people

Heart problems can find you at any age, even when you are in 20s. There are some really bitter news about a few youngsters dying of a massive cardiac arrest due to straining themselves a lot!

4. Pain in the left side of heart indicates an emergency

Not necessary that it is a sign of a heart problem. In fact, it can be a muscle pain or pain due to excess gas, etc.

5. Using a specific brand or type of oil is good for the heart

In fact, all oils are good until they aren’t refined. There is a trend that cooking in olive oil is good for the heart. Yes, it is. But it doesn’t mean cooking in other oils is unhealthy. Even mustard oil, gingelly oil, rice bran oils are healthy for the heart. You can actually switch the oils every month and try using different types of oils to gain benefits from different oils.

6. Nuts are heavy, not good for heart health

In fact, nuts are light, nutritious and healthy snacks as long as they are raw nuts. In fact, eating a handful of nuts provide you with omega 3 fatty acid, minerals etc. Especially, walnuts are good for your heart!

How to improve your heart health?

Top 5 Natural Remedies for Healthy Heart

Heart not only pumps the blood, but also circulate the oxygenated blood to the body. There are a lot of things that can help you manage your heart in a healthy condition. Improving the functions of the heart depends greatly on the purity of the blood, blood flow and oxygen. It can be easily achieved by eating healthy foods and staying active.

Following are some of the natural remedies for heart health, rather the ingredients that support your heart functions and prevent cardiac conditions to a great extent.

1. Except the smell, GARLIC is great in every other aspect

Garlic is one of the wonderful ingredients. Garlic is used in many cuisines to enhance the flavor of foods. In ancient days, garlic had also been used to cure a lot of ailments.

The most powerful remedy for high cholesterol

Eating a single garlic pod everyday reduces the bad cholesterol in your blood as well as increases the production of good cholesterol.

Reverses Atherosclerosis

Regular consumption of garlic improves the heart condition called Atherosclerosis, which is characterized by hardened artery walls due to high cholesterol. Garlic breaks the fat and cholesterol accumulated in the inner walls of the arteries and makes it softer, flexible and healthy.

Other benefits of eating garlic

  • It is a blood purifier
  • It addresses digestive problems
  • It enables proper circulation of blood
  • It also regulates the blood pressure
  • It boosts immunity
  • It is a natural pain killer

A study about garlic and its impacts on health revealed the fact that garlic reduces the risk of harmful platelet of blood.

Ancient remedies to reduce cholesterol, eliminate toxins in the blood and improve heart functions.

  • Sautee 3 to 5 pods of raw garlic sprinkled with ghee and eat on an empty stomach.
  • Eat 3 to 5 pods of raw garlic every morning (it might be difficult, but this is the most effective of all remedies for heart health)
  • Crush garlic and add in milk, drink at night.

Eating garlic leads to bad odor. So when you eat garlic, don’t forget to chew some mint or use mouth freshener.

2. Sip a few cups of green for better heart health

Green tea is one of the healthiest drinks. Green tea health benefits are innumerable! Recently, it has become increasingly popular for an added benefit! Green tea boosts heart health. It has a high concentration of anti-oxidants! It briskly improves the heart functions. A report published by European Journal of Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation states that, within 30 minutes of consuming green tea, the functions of blood vessels get improved.

Drink green tea regularly to enhance the heart condition, tiny blood vessels of the heart and functions of the heart. As much as 3-4 cups of green tea can make your heart smile, just don’t add sugar to it!

3. Eat Ginger happily to bring back your youth

Garlic and ginger often goes hand in hand in cooking savory dishes, spicy curries and gravies. Ginger is a potent root spice with strong aroma and sharp flavor. Ginger is not only an effective remedy to treat digestive problems, but also promotes heart health.

Do you know why ginger and garlic are added when cooking heavy curries, rice or meat recipes? To enable good digestion and reduce the risk of cholesterol as well as accumulation of fat.

Enables good blood circulation

Several studies depicted that ginger can prevent blood clots and enable proper blood circulation.

Controls blood clot

A recent lab study conducted by American Heart Association has shown that ginger is more powerful than aspirin in controlling the formation of blood clots.

  • Ginger boosts your mood with its intense aroma
  • It is a pain reliever
  • Prevents you from infection and gives an immunity shot
  • More than being a powerful anti-flatulence spice, ginger is packed with anti-oxidants!

Ancient remedies using ginger to promote heart health

  • Dry ginger jaggery balls (often provided to digest the heavy foods during festival / cultural feasts)
  • A cup of warm ginger tea with honey
  • Chop fresh ginger into tiny pieces and mix with honey (equal parts of ginger and honey). Eat one teaspoon of this daily. It is an elixir of youth and you can certainly notice a different you in the mirror!

4. An aromatic remedy for heart health – Lavender

Lavender, the name speaks loud about its aroma! Lavender is one of the sweetest smelling herbs with abundant anti-stress, antiseptic and antibacterial properties. The lesser known benefit of lavender is- it boosts heart health in a different way!

Lavender strengthens the cardiac muscles. It provides the balancing effect in the body, which enhances contraction and relaxation of heart chambers.

Is there a soothing way to reduce blood pressure other than enjoying the pleasant aroma of lavender? Lavender reduces heart palpitations and regulate the pressure levels.

To get the most of lavender, you can enjoy lavender tea.

5. Arjuna – The Guardian of Heart

In Ayurveda, the tree Terminalia Arjuna is labeled as ‘The Guardian of Heart.’ It was prepared as a milk decoction. The usage of Arjuna has been described in the Vedas.

Arjuna is the health tonic. It contains a lot of micronutrients and rich in minerals. It is also rich in flavonoids. Arjuna improves the strength of heart muscles, reduces the heart congestion, eases the inflammation, improves the functions of the blood vessels and regulates the blood pressure level. It is the powerful natural remedy for cardiovascular health.

Kasturba Medical College in India conducted a research on ‘effects of Arjuna on heart health!’ It is revealed that consuming it reduces the risk of angina attacks.

Simply, Arjuna is the one-stop remedy for cardiac health. The tree bark is used as medicine. It is available in all Ayurvedic shops. Add one teaspoon of the powder (tree bark powder) in warm water or milk and drink regularly for three months.

Although there have been no side effects in using Arjuna, even for a longer time, it is recommended to consult with an Ayurvedic practitioner before taking this.

10 Simple Eating Tips to Great Heart Health

  1. Eat a variety of foods. Include foods from all categories, viz, fruits, veggies, proteins, carbs, cereals, legumes, dairy, etc.
  2. Eat smaller portions and choose low calorie foods. If possible, try to eat fruit-only dinner at night, at least twice a week.
  3. Don’t miss the fiber in your diet. It is essential for a healthy heart.
  4. Avoid eating deep fried foods. Choose steaming, roasting, boiling and baking over frying.
  5. Reduce high sugar and high salt intake. Try to add as little sugar and salt as you can in your dishes.
  6. Eating salmon once a week reduces the risk of heart diseases by 30 %.
  7. Don’t sleep immediately after eating.
  8. Drink a glass of water before going to sleep. It prevents heart attack as well sudden stroke.
  9. Avoid cooking foods in refined oil.
  10. Allot a day to eat fresh fruits and vegetables, twice or thrice a month.

Heart Healthy Habits for Seniors and Adults with Heart Problems

  • Don’t bring any abrupt change in eating patterns or exercise.
  • Take a walk for a minimum of 45 minutes a day.
  • Meditate for 20 minutes in the morning and evening.
  • Make sure your diet is free from cholesterol and fat.
  • Eat a lot of fatty acids. Nuts and seeds, vegetable oils (not refined oil), soya, sea food, etc
  • Include a lot of fiber rich foods to regulate cholesterol levels
  • Control the portion and serving size.
  • Don’t miss your medicines and never take any medicine without consulting your physician.
  • Keep your weight under control.
  • NO smoking, no exposure to second smoking
  • Plan for routine checkup and examinations

Super 7 Heart Friendly Exercises

There is a common misconception about exercising and improving heart health. Not all exercises are healthy for the heart. In fact, a few exercises are detrimental to health. Too much strength training, hardcore gym workouts, weight training extremes, etc. damage the heart muscle.
Otherwise, regular exercise helps you,

  • Controls the pressure level
  • Reduces stress (Especially walking, swimming, etc)
  • Regulates the cholesterol levels
  • Burns calories and fat

1. Walk your way to a healthy heart

Walking is the best cardio workout for the heart. It is a mild workout that doesn’t put much pressure on your heart. Walk briskly for a minimum of 30 to 45 minutes a day.

2. Aerobics

Aerobics is the best cardiovascular workout to tone the heart muscles and enhance the blood inflow and outflow.

  • Running
  • Jogging
  • Cycling
  • Swimming
  • Climbing

3. Running / Jogging

You should move fast enough to raise the heartbeat and breathe harder. At the same time, you should be able to talk to someone as you move. This is the appropriate phase and you are doing it right. If you cannot talk when you run or jog, you are pushing too hard and it is detrimental to the heart. Read this for better help, Running for beginners.

4. Climbing

It is not hill climbing, rather climb the stairs. To get the most of any aerobic exercises, just take the stairs. You don’t need to go out to climb, just take the stairs in your home. Climbing provides you the maximum heart rate. Again, make sure that you can have a conversation when you climb.

  • What should be your maximum heart rate?
  • Subtract your age from 220!

You might also want to know if Fast Heart Beat and Pulse Rate Normal?

5. Swimming

Swimming is the precious gift you can gift your body. Swimming not only tones your heart muscles and enhances the heart health, but also regulates all functions in the body!

6. Stretching

Stretching isn’t a vigorous exercise at all! You can do it any time. Stretching makes your muscles quite flexible and reduces the pressure of the heart!

7. Dance your way for stronger heart

Yep, dancing is also a mild form of aerobics. Make some rhythmic moves that involve a low impact dancing. It is a great stress buster too!

Do yoga to reduce the risk of cardiac diseases

There is no second opinion about yoga and health! Practicing yoga regularly literally means your health is great! Yes, yoga is a powerful preventive device that protects your body and mind like a strong iron brace!

Several studies about the impact of yoga on cardiovascular health stated that regular practice of yoga reduces the risk of cardio diseases. Yoga being a low impact workout is often compared with aerobics. Yet, it is more beneficial than aerobics.

Within three months of practicing yoga poses on a daily basis transform you in a better way.

  • It lowers blood pressure and regulates cholesterol
  • It improves oxygen and blood circulation
  • It tones and strengthens the muscles
  • It helps you stay active and fit
  • It burns calories and fat
  • It reduces waistline
  • It is the best way to de-stress
  • It enhances the brain functions
  • It reduces the risk of chronic disorders

A research was conducted at the University of Kansas with 50 patients who suffered from arrhythmia, (irregular heart beat). Yoga sessions twice a week were organized for them for a period of three months. The result was dramatic and surprising:

  • The heart disturbances were resolved
  • Regulated heart beat
  • No traces of anxiety
  • Reduced blood pressure

Doesn’t it sound interesting?

A few precautions when you practice yoga:

  • Get the yoga practice from a yoga trainer, especially if you have the risk of heart disease.
  • Don’t try extreme poses, it is not good for you.
  • Start with simple and easy poses and as you gain expertise, you can go for difficult poses.

How to start exercising for your heart?

  • If you are healthy with no risk of heart disease (until now), you can proceed with doing any kind of exercises.
  • If you are at the risk of heart disease, or recovered from any cardiac illness, start with mild exercise like
  1. Walking
  2. Stretching
  3. Yoga practice with a yoga trainer (mild yoga poses)
  4. Weight lifting (nothing more than books and water bottle)

Walking is the ideal option for those who have never done any exercise in the past.

Some Don’ts about Exercises to prevent damaging your heart

  1. Don’t do any workouts, without getting consultation with your doctor, especially if you have very high cholesterol and have recovered from any heart disease.
  2. DON’T Do exercise in hilly areas. Even walking and jogging are prohibited in the hilly areas due to lack of oxygen. If you live in a hill station, better do some workout indoors.
  3. Don’t exercise in extreme climate. If it is too hot or too cold, stay away from doing strenuous workouts. It makes you get tired quickly. Walking is best foor these times.

10 Small Steps to Better Heart Health

Change is an inevitable part of life. It is very essential if you have the risk of developing heart disease, wish to prevent heart disease and living with heart disease. Without making any changes in your lifestyle and the foods you eat, it is impossible to protect your heart health. In fact, the people with risk of stroke or stroke survivor are recommended to follow the healthy lifestyle for the lifetime. A mild increase in the level of cholesterol and pressure is enough to receive hoard of lecture on healthy living. Yes, it is indeed necessary.

Here is your path to better health and lead a healthy lifestyle: These are too simple and you don’t need to strain yourself a lot.

1. A 20 minute walk

Walking for 20 minutes is definitely not a big deal. In fact, start with a 20 minute walk. You will realize that 20 minutes fly in no time. This will be the base for you, to start with some exercise regimen. If you have never been active or never did any exercise, just try this. Gradually you can increase the duration.

2. Add one fruit or one vegetable extra

As mentioned above, diet also plays a vital role in improving and damaging your cardiac health. So, just add one fruit or one vegetable (not starchy and root vegetables) extra daily. In fact, fruits and veggies are cheaper and you can pick the seasonal produce.

3. Lift some weights

A brief outlook about weight training and heart health is given above. You don’t need to train you as a weight lifter. Rather just lift some weights that are relatively easy. College textbooks (so called tiny pillows!), hardcover dictionaries (we bet everyone has this one at home), or simply water bottles. Lift these easy weights a few times (3 or 4 times) a day for a minute or two. This simple thing strengthens your upper body muscles!

4. No high calorie drink

Literally, you should stop drinking the calories. Just reducing a one latte or one soda or one cola can reduce a minimum of 100 calorie consumption, which accounts for 3 to 4 kgs weight loss a year. (Remember, losing weight is essential to protect your heart health)

5. Take deep breathes

To calm your mind and de-stress, just take some deep breathes. Stress is the major trigger for heart problems. Deep breathing reduces your blood pressure and improves oxygen circulation.

6. Seafood for the heart and the whole body

Pick the edible treasures available from the ocean. If you are a lover of seafood, you can protect your heart as well the whole body from disorders. Seafood is great for your heart, brain, stomach and even the waistline.

Don’t bother, if you don’t see seafood, delicious (you don’t eat seafood), relish Spirulina, chrolella, and seaweed.

7. Have a healthy sexual relationship

Sexual relationship is often overlooked by many. In fact, it is a form of therapy. Having sex regularly improves your health in many ways. It is more than a pleasure. Sexual relationship boosts your brain functions, releases happy hormones, combats stress, balances your hormones, reduces the blood pressure and more importantly, reduces the risk of heart diseases.

8. Count on some happy moments

Life is not a bed of roses. There are some thorns too. But instead of worrying about the negative aspects of your life, relish the happy moments. You will feel light and happy. Your heart too will sing!

9. Laughter is the best medicine

Laughter is indeed the best medicine to burst your stress and protect your heart. Laughter at any time does some wonders on your body and mind. Nothing can unleash the pressure as quickly as laughter. So, have fun, watch funny movies, be with your freinds and induge in silly things or just join a laughing club!

10. Sleep

Your body and mind needs sleep as much as anything. Lack of sleep gradually deprives the functions of all important organs in the body. It puts a lot of pressure on your heart. Don’t sacrifice your sleep and get quality and sound sleep.

Share your emotions

Heart is connected with emotions. Yes, it is indeed connected with love, joy and happy emotions! So, don’t pile-up your feelings. It adds a lot of pressure to your heart and may lead to heart failure. So share your emotions and be open.

Big things are achieved from small steps. Whether or not you are at the risk of developing heart disease, you should follow the above tips to keep your heart healthy. Changes in lifestyle are mandatory for those with heart diseases. But it is also essential for those who don’t have any heart disease as of now. They need to prevent heart diseases!

Just think about a small thing:

You eat daily and you sleep daily. Can you go without eating or sleeping for days together, just because you eat or sleep every day? That’s impossible. Apply the same rule to get physically active! Don’t stop doing exercises just because you are healthy.

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