Are you proactive when it comes to your health? Do you do everything you can to look after yourself, or do you figure that because you are healthy now you always will be? You may be surprised to learn that some people figure that because they are healthy right now, they always will be. And that would be wonderful, but unfortunately it is not always the case. There are many illnesses that can creep up out of nowhere. They can attack us when we least expect it. One of those illnesses is heart disease.
Whether you think you are at risk for heart disease or not, take a look at these tips and see if there are any adjustments that you can make to your current routine that will help to protect your heart now and in the future.
And keep in mind that making changes in our life which will protect our health doesn’t mean that we need to be hard on ourselves or feel bad if we do some things right and some things wrong. It simply means that we need to be more conscience of the things we do each day that will eventually affect our overall well-being.
10 Ways to Protect Your Heart Everyday
Eat Your Vegetables
Just like your mom always told you, eat your vegetables. Add cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage to your meals. Eating these vegetables on a regular basis will protect your heart by reducing your cholesterol levels.
You can easily add these vegetables to stir-frys or homemade vegetable soups. Have you ever made cabbage soup? It’s delicious, very filling and very low in calories.
Drink More Water
You hear it all the time, drink more water, but do you know why you should drink more water? You should because water naturally thins your blood which helps to prevent heart-stopping blood clots.
Try to drink at least 6 to 8 - eight ounce glasses of water each day. You can easily substitute herbal teas if you are not a big fan of drinking water.
The best way to make sure that you get enough water is to drink at least 2 glasses with each meal and a few in between.
As well you will find that if you drink 2 glasses of water before each meal you will feel full and will eat less of your meal. Keep that up and you will start to lose weight which of course is good for your heart as well.
Maintain a Healthy Blood Pressure
There are many natural ways to lower your blood pressure. Eating less salt is one of them. A second way is to take a supplement that is an amino acid known as L-arginine. Taking a daily dose of at least 2,000 mg a day will relax your arteries and help to lower your blood pressure.
Every time you get your teeth cleaned the dentist will ask you how often you floss your teeth. Do you tell the truth, or do you lie? I know people that floss after each meal, and I also know people who have never flossed their teeth. I floss before bed. Do you?
Flossing is important because without it gum inflammation can spread through your bloodstream and damage your arteries. So be proactive and start flossing regularly.
Get Plenty of Vitamin C
Vitamin C is an antioxidant that helps to keep your blood vessels flexible and less prone to plaque buildup.
Vitamin C can be found in a tall glass of orange juice. Strawberries are also packed with vitamin C. If strawberries and orange juice are not available you can always take vitamin C Chewables, which come in orange flavour and are easy to chew.
You should try to include at least 1000 mg of vitamin C in your diet each day.
Walk at Least 30 Minutes a Day
A good walk gets the heart pumping and the blood flowing. Walking at least 30 minutes a day isn’t as difficult as some may think. Sometimes you can walk in your neighbourhood, 15 minutes one way and then 15 back. Or if the weather is nasty outside you can join all the people that walk through the shopping malls in the morning before the stores open.
Maintain a Healthy Waistline
For many people it is easy to maintain a healthy weight, and for many it is not, for a variety of reasons. Even if you cannot lose enough weight to get down to your ideal weight height ratio, you should do the best that you can to reduce your waistline.
We all know that if the circumference of our waistline is larger than our hips, then we may be next in line for heart problems.
How is waist to hip ratio calculated?
Dr. Mehmet Oz answered:
“Doctors use waist to hip ratio to determine if a patient has too much abdominal fat. Studies strongly suggest that carrying excessive abdominal fat—that is, a thick pad of flab in the midsection—increases the risk for heart disease, stroke and premature death. To figure out your waist to hip ratio, measure your waist (just above the belly button) and your hips (at their widest point). Divide the waist measurement by the hip measurement. A ratio above 0.90 for men and 0.85 for women means excess abdominal fat. “
I know, this is easier said than done. Breaking any addiction is extremely difficult no matter how worthwhile it is. You can always try though.
Reduce Your Alcohol Consumption
This tip isn’t for people that have one glass of wine with dinner each evening. In fact studies have proven that a glass of wine is good for our health.
But the people that this tip is referring to are the people that drink a six pack of beer every evening, or spend their weekends drinking 24 bottles of beer and a 26 ounce bottle of Vodka, by themselves. Those people should consider reducing their alcohol consumption before any serious health issues crop up.
Eat Less Sugar
We all know the health benefits of eating less sugar, but do we eat it anyways?
I have to admit, this is my weakness. I can go for months on end without eating white sugar and then one day I’ll let myself have a cupcake or some ice cream and it is game over.
I am not good with moderation. I either eat sugar every day, or not at all. Of course I feel and look much better when I don’t eat sugar, at all. How about you?
Are Our Health Issues Hereditary?
Certain health concerns such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and so on, can be hereditary. That is why whenever you meet with a new doctor they always ask you about your family history and their health issues.
In my case my mother died from heart disease.
She had high blood pressure most of her life, and even though she was very thin as a teenager, her waist to hip ratio in the last 40 years of her adult life was out of control.
As well, she smoked for 60 years. Can you believe that? 60 years!
Did she abide by any of the tips listed above before or after she was diagnosed with heart disease? Well she didn’t like drinking alcohol, but other than that, the answer would be no.
Unlike my mother, my health is very important to me.
Right now my health is excellent, and I am doing my best to keep it that way. Is it easy for me? No!
Is it easy for you to always be proactive when it comes to your health?