Heart disease remains a major cause of death yet there is much that you can do to prevent it.
Here are ten simple tips on heart health.
1) Follow a Mediterranean diet. Rates of heart disease are lower in countries around the Mediterranean Ocean where they eat vegetables, fish, garlic, olive oil and drink a little red wine whilst going easy on red meat.
2) Eat Tomatoes. The red color of the tomato is due to lycopene. This has been shown to be a strong anti oxidant and research says it helps lower blood pressure and C-reactive protein, which is a marker for, increased risk of heart disease.
Laugh to help Heart Health
3) Laugh. The blood vessels in volunteers shown funny videos who and were laughing display relaxation of blood vessels. This helps lower blood pressure. You also cannot be stressed when you are laughing so find stuff to laugh at.
4) Eat fiber. It has long been known that fiber is good for the bowel. Eating a diet rich in fiber also helps keep your heart healthy.
5) Do some regular exercise. Whether it is walking, running or swimming it does not matter. Fitness reduces your chances of heart problems and that is independent of its benefits on weight.
6) Get some sunshine. The importance of vitamin D in health is an expanding field. People with low vitamin D levels are more susceptible to heart disease. The best form of vitamin D is free from the sun. Get around 10 minutes a few days per week-not enough to burn.
Chocolate helps Heart Health
7) Eat chocolate. This will be popular. Polyphenols in dark chocolate help to increase your good cholesterol and lower the bad. Previous studies suggest that a small intake of chocolate helped people who have had a heart attack recover a bit quicker. You only need about 40g per day and 70% cocoa is best.
8) Manage Stress. Psychosocial factors account for 30% of heart attack risk. Managing stress better is known to reduce the likelihood of having a heart attack.Even for people who have heart disease, stress management lowers recurrence and increases survival.
Exercise helps Heart Health – Ask Helen about how to exercise best without aggravating any musculoskeletal pain problems you have.
-Ask Helen about how to exercise best without aggravating any musculoskeletal pain problems you have.
I can help modify any exercises to ensure more benefit than harm
9) Take up Tai Chi. People who do regular Tai Chi have lower blood pressure and lower rates of heart disease. The same applies for regular meditation.
10) Stay Positive. There are no guarantees in life and even if we do all the “right” things we may still get sick. Even if you have a heart attack, long-term survival and quality of life improves by simply taking an optimistic view on life. You do not have to be over the top or unrealistic. Simply looking for the positives correlates with better outcomes.
Helen Potter In Touch Physiotherapy 2017