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Health & Wellness: Tips to prevent or manage heart disease

By Lindsey Certonio - Special to the Daily Herald | Feb 21, 2024

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Habits like eating healthy, reducing stress and getting plenty of sleep can help reduce the risk of developing heart diesase.

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is crucial when facing heart disease, the leading cause of death worldwide. About 18.2 million Americans as young as age 20 are currently struggling with this horrible condition.

By simply elevating your daily habits, you can reduce your chances of being diagnosed with heart disease. Let’s explore why managing your stress levels, receiving a good night’s rest, exercising several times a week and eating a healthy diet can help prevent or manage heart disease.

Maintain low stress levels

Reducing your stress levels is essential to your heart’s health. When you are overstimulated and stressed, it causes an excess of inflammation in your body. This can have a negative impact on things like blood pressure and cholesterol, which play primary roles in your heart’s function. Here are a few helpful activities to do when feeling stressed:

  • Watch a funny movie.
  • Play a game.
  • Call a friend.
  • Cook or bake your favorite dish.
  • Listen to music.

It’s important to note that no one is immune to stress. As long as you are handling your stress in a timely manner, it shouldn’t affect your heart long-term.

Get an adequate amount of sleep

We require a lot of sleep to function properly. In fact, adults should be receiving at minimum seven hours of quality sleep every night. If you are being woken up throughout the night or just sleeping off and on throughout the day, your sleep schedule may be the root cause of health concerns such as heart disease.

When we are sleeping, our bodies have the chance to recharge and repair any damaged or inflamed areas. In conclusion, a sufficient amount of high-quality sleep results in our bodies being able to help blood vessels from being clogged.

Exercise regularly

Unfortunately, exercising too little can have negative effects on one’s life. Heart disease, which can lead to heart attacks, chest pain, nausea and neck pain, is just one of the main consequences of not exercising enough. With that being said, it’s time to prioritize exercise. Make a goal to exercise at least 30 minutes a day, five times a week to keep your heart healthy. Anything from running a couple of miles to playing a game of soccer can lower your blood pressure and build strong heart muscles.

Moreover, when exercising, you can improve your mood, lower your stress levels and receive a better quality of sleep, which are all aspects that contribute to heart disease. This is because when you exercise, your brain releases more chemicals like serotonin, stress hormones and endorphins, as well as increases slow-wave sleep.

Eat a balanced diet

Not only does eating a well-balanced diet affect how you feel but it also plays an important role in how your heart functions. Many foods that are high in saturated fats can lead to plaque buildup in our arteries. This ultimately ends in high cholesterol levels, making our heart’s job harder since it won’t receive as much nutritious blood flow. Instead of eating foods that contain a lot of saturated fat, aim to include more of the following foods:

  • Almonds.
  • Oatmeal.
  • Beans.
  • Blueberries.
  • Tomatoes.

Choosing ingredients that make delicious meals and also nourish your body will promote healthy heart function.

Taking steps toward your overall health is crucial to preventing heart disease. Being diagnosed with this devastating disease affects all aspects of one’s life and can be difficult to manage. Take the initiative today to live a long, healthy life by managing your stress levels, sleeping seven hours a night, exercising at least five times a week for 30 minutes and eating foods that are low in cholesterol like blueberries.

Lindsey Certonio is a project manager at Fullcast, a Silicon Slopes-based end-to-end RevOps platform that allows companies to design, manage and track the performance of their revenue-generating teams.


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