healthy heart

Five Steps to a Healthy Heart in 2020

It’s now 2020, and perhaps one of your resolutions was to have a healthy heart. Heart health is one of the most important areas to focus on for your overall health, if not the most important. Heart disease continues to be the top cause of death in the United States. Tragically, heart disease is also preventable in cases where it is not genetic. So, with that fact in mind, here are:

FIVE steps to a Healthy Heart

Quit Smoking.

This step to a healthy heart is obvious. According to WebMD, in comparison to someone who has never smoked, women have 109% of developing heart failure, while men have an 86% chance of developing heart failure if they keep smoking. The chances of heart failure go up when other conditions such as diabetes or high LDL cholesterol are present in the smoker.

Healthy Heart – Get More Exercise.

One of the best ways to improve your heart health is to exercise. Running, biking, in-line skating, swimming and any other exercise with sustained cardio is excellent for your heart. Moderate exercise alone was shown to lower the risk of heart failure by 21% in men and 13% in women; more intense exercise by 33% and 36% respectively. Cardio is not the only exercise that improves your heart health; weightlifting has been shown to reduce the risk of a stroke or heart attack, improve circulation. Weightlifting also is effective at reducing belly fat, the presence of which increases the risk of cardiovascular disease. Clearly, exercise is an effective way to improve your heart’s health.

healthy heart

Healthy Heart – Lower LDL Cholesterol.

LDL cholesterol not only increases your chances of developing heart disease, but its presence in your system also puts you at risk of having a stroke.  How can you reduce your LDL levels below 200? A good start is eliminating foods that have trans fat. It’s tricky to avoid trans fats, they exist in almost every food available today. When you go grocery shopping, look for “partially hydrogenated oil”, that is another name for trans fat, and it should be avoided.  Going back to the last step; exercise is an excellent way to reduce your LDL cholesterol and improve your heart health at the same time. High fiber foods such as oatmeal and beans inhibit your body from absorbing cholesterol and should be a staple of your diet.

Healthy Body Weight Healthy Heart.

Men who are obese are 86% more likely to suffer from heart failure and women who are obese are a staggering 106% more likely to suffer heart failure. Just being above the recommended body weight for their height increased the risk of heart failure in men by 15% and 21% in women. Cutting out things like fast food and foods high in fat will significantly help reduce your body weight. Calorie counting can be useful in losing weight, but don’t go to extremes and turn your diet into an eating disorder.

healthy heart

Lower Your Blood Sugar.

A study done in 2012 by the National Heart Association showed that 65% of people with diabetes will eventually die from heart disease or a stroke if they don’t get their blood sugar under control. Diabetes causes the hardening of the coronary arteries, which is caused by a build-up of LDL cholesterol in the arteries, which reduces the amount of oxygen and nutrition received by the heart.  Cutting out or reducing sugar and foods like bread, rice, and pasta which the body converts into sugar will lower your chance of developing diabetes and help you maintain normal blood sugar levels. Supplements such as glycine and cinnamon can also help reduce your blood sugar levels.

To Sum Up.

If you follow these steps, they can help you to achieve better heart health and to feel better in 2020.

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