Few muscles and organs are as important as the heart. If it didn’t pump blood around the body, nutrients, hormones, and even oxygen wouldn’t be able to reach where they’re needed. Nothing else would work properly. That means that you need to take very good care of it.
It’s never too late to get into good habits when it comes to heart health. If you ever are unlucky enough to have a heart attack or develop heart disease, one of the first things the doctors are going to tell you is about the lifestyle changes you need to make to stop it from happening again or getting worse. Wouldn’t it be better to take care of your heart before you have a major cardiovascular event? After all, heart problems are a leading cause of death.
You’ve probably heard some of this before. Watch your diet, making sure you eat lots of fruit and vegetables and cutting back on the salt, sugar and saturated fat. Nuts are a particularly good choice when it comes to heart health and can make for a good snack between meals (https://www.health.harvard.edu/healthbeat/10-small-steps-for-better-heart-health). Prioritize whole grains in your bread and cereal rather than the white, processed stuff.
When it comes to exercise, you want to get your heart pumping with some aerobic activity. You don’t have to start by running marathons. Even a short but brisk walk can help. It gets you going and gives you something to build on.
Once you’ve raised your heart rate with exercise, you’ll want it to calm down again. When you’re at rest, your heart shouldn’t be racing. Take some deep breaths, and perhaps try meditation or mindfulness. Life can be stressful, and that stress puts a strain on your heart and raises your blood pressure. You need to find ways to manage it.
Some aspects of heart health aren’t as tangible as diet and exercise. People with poor mental wellbeing sometimes end up feeling the side effects physically, including with their heart. Loneliness, anger, depression, and anxiety have been correlated with high blood pressure and other cardiovascular problems.
Hearts may be complicated, but the first steps to make them healthier can be quite simple. Then you can think about the heavier and more long-term stuff. Even the smallest things can make a difference, and that’s important when it comes to your overall longevity and wellbeing.