6 Fitness Tips for Better Heart HealthSep 7, 2022
World Heart day is fast approaching and has many people thinking about what they can do to improve their heart health. World Heart Day is September 29th, and there are a variety of ways you can take better care of your heart. Keep reading to learn six fitness tips for a healthier heart.
Arm Yourself With Knowledge
The first step you can take towards improving your heart health is learning all you can about your heart. Did you know heart disease is the leading cause of death for adults in the United States? Many factors increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. The top risk factors for heart disease include high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, and smoking. In addition, medical conditions and lifestyle choices such as diabetes, obesity, and consuming large quantities of alcohol over a long period of time can also increase your risk.
Get Your Body Moving
One of the simplest ways you can improve your heart health is by getting your body moving. Your heart needs regular activity to maintain optimal health. If you don't already get your heart pumping on a regular basis, you can start by adding small bursts of activity. Try adding a 20-minute walk to your daily routine or try a new gentle yoga class. If you are looking to add some intensity to your fitness plan, try adding some cardio-related workouts to your week. Activities like running, cycling, and swimming are excellent heart-healthy workouts. Even adding 20 minutes of cardio daily can significantly improve your blood flow and cardiovascular health.
Consider Making Changes to Your Diet
Food is fuel for your body, and choosing the right foods can make all the difference in heart health. Eating healthy can feel overwhelming, but you can get started by making minor changes to your diet. Over time even small changes can have a big impact. Try incorporating more heart-healthy foods into your meals that are nutrient-dense and full of lean proteins. These foods include chicken, fish, vegetables, and nuts. Try cutting back or limiting highly processed foods, high levels of salt or sodium, and processed sugars. Making these small changes can help you reduce your cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart-related health issues.
Try Adding Strength Training to Your Routine
Did you know that building muscle can also improve your heart health? When we think of heart health and physical activity, we often think of cardio or high-intensity workouts, but building muscle is also a significant factor. Building muscle makes it easier to burn fat and maintain a healthy BMI. This can be especially helpful to those who are trying to lose weight. Consider adding a form of strength training to your routine. Some excellent muscle-building workouts include rowing machines, fan bikes, and free weights.
Schedule Your Next Checkup
Talk to your doctor and schedule your next checkup or your annual physical. After the age of 20, regular health screenings for heart disease and contributing factors begin. These appointments can help catch early warning signs and prevent heart disease or other heart-related issues. Health screenings also play an essential role in catching health conditions early on. For example, catching heart disease early can help slow down the illness and make it easier to treat. These appointments are also a great time to ask your doctor questions about improving your overall health.
Get More Sleep
You might be surprised to learn that sleep can significantly impact your health and fitness. According to the CDC, adults who sleep less than seven hours each night are more likely to have health problems, including heart attacks, asthma, and depression. Quality sleep also contributes to factors that impact your heart health, such as blood pressure. Your blood pressure lowers while you sleep. Conversely, poor quality sleep can cause your blood pressure to remain higher for prolonged periods of time. Take care of your heart and get at least 7 hours of quality sleep every night.
Looking for More Fitness Tips?
Making small changes and living a heart-healthy lifestyle can dramatically reduce the risk of heart disease and other related complications. Are you interested in learning more about heart health or other fitness tips? Check out the XTERRA Fitness blog, where you can find new content every week.