With Valentine’s Day approaching, you want your heart in its best working order. The better you feel emotionally and physically, the more likely your heart will be healthy. For the risk factors you can’t avoid (genetic predispositions, bad luck and injuries, your busy life and career) there are ways to aid your best body health, and for the things you can control: do what your heart desires, literally. Here are some tips on maintaining heart health, and what you can do to optimize your lifestyle:
Most people know there are good and bad fats in food, and that sugar should be eaten in moderation. The reasons behind being cautious is that too much trans fats in a person’s diet can elevate cholesterol, clog their arteries, and seriously increase the risk of heart disease and stroke. The reasons for avoiding too much sugar are literally in the same vein: artificially sweetened food and beverages can be the culprits behind obesity, high blood pressure, and Type 2 diabetes, all of which put strain on a person’s heart.
Eating well is a major step in avoiding risk factors and improving your blood flow, but for a greater advantage, consider natural blood thinners like nattokinase, a soy bean enzyme often used for cardiovascular diseases, or pine bark extract, which is used to prevent heart and blood vessel disorders. Adding an herbal, heart healthy supplement is one more way to achieve a beneficial diet.
One of the easiest habits you can pick up for heart health is to move more. Staying seated for long periods of time can be extremely detrimental to your heart, and even vigorous, regular exercise can’t undo hours and hours sitting behind a desk, in a car, or on the couch.
Even the smallest movements can help, including parking farther away from your office building, or using a standing desk if you can. However, sometimes staying still is unavoidable, and the reality is that sitting for long periods of time, especially during travel, can sometimes cause a dangerous blood clot. Again, pine bark extract and nattokinase can help protect your health and keep you and your blood moving.
When you do exercise, another way to guard against having to sit out is to make sure injuries or strains heal quickly. The way to build muscle and increase circulation is to repair and grow stronger, and to do that faster, you’ll need your body’s naturally occurring circulatory stem cells. Though these cells decrease production after the age of 25, you can take control of that too, by increasing your circulating stem cells through scientifically proven supplementation and regular exercise.
When it comes to heart health, there are a few more relatively simple things you can do to avoid risk factors and increase your quality of life. Quit smoking if you smoke, and avoid second-hand smoke if you don’t. Exposure to tobacco smoke contributes to premature heart disease and death every year, and the tragedy there is it can be completely avoided.
Another factor that should be obvious but is often ignored: a good night’s sleep. Too many adults are functioning on less than the 7-8 hours of ideal sleep, and sleeping in excess of 9 hours (trying to “catch up” on the weekends, maybe?) doesn’t help either, that only contributes to the damages that come from a sedentary lifestyle. Sleeping consistently well is as important to your health as being regularly active, and should be even easier to maintain if only we valued our rest as much as our doctors say we should.
Along those lines, it’s also important to be good to yourself: make time for moments of peace, laughter, and—of course!—love, not just on Valentine’s Day, but all year around.