Improving Your Heart Health

When we’re young, we rarely think about our health unless we have any concerns. We feel good, and we assume that everything is fine and that we’ll have time to think about deeper issues later on when they become more of a threat.

If we do concern ourselves with our health, it might be in the form of joining a gym to lose weight, avoiding winter bugs of getting a flu shot. Young people rarely concern themselves with their heart health. You might not have even wondered if yours is good or if you should be making changes and assumed that advancements in cardiology mean that you’ll never need to worry.

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You might be surprised to hear that small changes to your lifestyle today could mean that your heart stays healthy and that you do never need to worry. But the opposite is also true. Failing to look after your heart now, can mean that it causes you trouble much sooner than you might hope. Let’s take a look at some of the simple changes that you can make now, to protect your heart for a long time to come.

Get Moving

The very best thing that you can do for your heart health today is move more. Don’t sit down for long periods, get up and move regularly. A walk around the block on your lunch break, running on the spot while you wait for the kettle to boil and walking up the stairs at work instead of taking the lift can all make a massive difference if they are sustained changes.

Of course, increased cardio activity, like running or fitness classes can have a more significant impact, but team them with smaller changes for the greatest results.

Lose Belly Fat

If you carry too much fat around your middle you are at an increased risk of heart disease, blocked arteries, diabetes and high blood pressure to name but a few. Belly fat is worse than fat elsewhere on your body because it pumps chemicals around your body that lead to inflammation. This inflammation is one of the leading causes of obesity-related illness.

Take a tape measure and measure around your waist. If this measurement is more than half of your height, you need to boost some belly fat. Exercise, changes to your diet, sleeping more and being generally more active will all help.

Stop Smoking

There’s so much evidence now to show how bad smoking is for your health. It has so many consequences, one of which is a heightened risk of heart disease and lung cancer. Even if you manage to avoid these conditions, you’ll find it hard to breathe, and your fitness levels will be affected.

If you are still smoking, find help to quit, and you should start to feel the effects straight away.

Lower Your Blood Pressure

Your blood pressure being too high can lead to a variety of illnesses, affecting almost all of your body and including heart attack, heart disease and stroke. If you’re not sure how your blood pressure fares, ask your doctor or nurse to check it for you.

To keep your blood pressure within the appropriate range, look after yourself. Lead a healthy lifestyle with lots of exercise. Drink water, eat five portions of fruit and veg every day, get lots of sleep and rest and find ways to control your stress levels.

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