We’ve heard it in school, on the news, from our doctors—they’re not simply scare tactics. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in adults over the age of 35 in the United States. In 2020, heart disease was responsible for 1 in 5 deaths in the United States (one person every 34 seconds), according to the CDC.
If the benefit of reducing your chances of premature death isn’t enough for you, know that your heart is central to every other function of your bodily ecosystem, including your brain, lungs, digestive system, and so on.
Fortunately, taking care of your heart isn’t rocket science. Here are the top 3 habits to implement into your daily routine for a better heart (and a better life):
Your heart is a muscle, and just like any muscle, you should exercise it. This doesn’t mean you need to turn into a hardcore gym rat overnight. There are plenty of ways to incorporate more activity into your daily routine— go for a walk, take the stairs, clean around your home.
You should still aim to dedicate at least 30 minutes a day to exercise— but that doesn’t mean it has to be boring. Don’t like weightlifting? Try yoga. Don’t like yoga? Try a barre class. Don’t like barre? Try running. Don’t like cardio? Try one of these methods for improving cardio without “doing cardio.” Keep shopping around till you find a form (or forms) of exercise that excite you— and don’t settle for less!
2. Eat clean.
Of course, diet is on the list for improving heart health alongside exercise. Proper diet and exercise are at the foundation of any healthy lifestyle.
To achieve a heart healthy diet, prioritize your veggies, eat your whole grains, and choose lean poultry. Try to reduce your intake of salt, sugar, and “unhealthy fats” such as those found in butter, fried food, processed snack foods, and red meat.
3. Reduce stress.
Easier said than done - we know. But even things like taking just five minutes in the morning to meditate, can help tremendously. Here’s a helpful guide with tips for trying out meditation, along with one of our favorite Meditation & Affirmations Playlists.
There’s plenty of anti-stress methods to choose from. Find what helps you relax, unwind and feel calm, as long as you make it a priority for your overall well-being and health of your heart.
This list feels like a bit of a cliché. You mean it really is that simple?
The answer is yes. And no. If it really was that easy, everyone would do it (and it wouldn’t be the leading cause of death in America). Nonetheless, by taking small steps toward a healthier lifestyle, you may find yourself living a longer and happier life.
This article was written by Melissa Pelowski.