We all want to live a long and healthy life, but who wants to live to be 100 years old, if you are sick for the last 25 years, and not able to enjoy your life? Unfortunately, many people aren't very concerned with their health or their heart, until there is a problem. Heart disease is the number one killer of men and women! So here are some tips that you can apply now, to help avoid future heart and health problems.
We all know that a healthy diet is important. Most people focus on their diet from a weight loss perspective, but what should we be eating to keep our heart strong and healthy? Most heart healthy foods you will find in your produce department. Produce helps to eliminate free radicals in the bloodstream. Foods rich with phytonutrients, help to eliminate and repair damaged cells also. Here are some foods, that you should start incorporating into your diet for a healthier heart.
- Sweet Potatoes
- Red Bell Peppers
- Acorn Squash
- Red Wine
- Dark Chocolate
- Brown Rice
- Soy Milk
- Ground Flaxseed
- Black & Kidney Beans
- Green Tea
Experts recommend 150 minutes a week of moderate cardio exercise (walking) , or 75 minutes a week of vigorous (running) cardio exercise. You can get your time in according to your schedule, it just needs to be done every week. All it takes is 30 minutes of walking 5 times a week, and you are finished! Very doable! Excellent forms of cardio/aerobic exercise are
We were meant to walk, and it is super easy to do. You don't need a gym or equipment. All you need is a sidewalk, and some walking shoes. Plug in your iPod, grab a friend or your dog, and make it a part of your routine! Push yourself a little to make sure you reach a moderate intensity.
Another great form of cardio exercise. You will burn approximately 100 calories per mile. Not everyone can run, due to injuries, but if you can, start out running one or two minutes for every five minutes of walking. Gradually build your stamina.
Swimming is a great total body exercise. Not only will you increase your heart rate, but you will also tone and shape your muscle. Swimming is a great alternative for people who have joint problems, that walking or running can aggravate.
Another great alternative for those experiencing joint problems. Cycling is a low impact cardio workout, that also strengthens lower body and core muscles. Bike in the gym, on the road, or even to run errands in your town!
- Interval/Circuit Training
Now, this is my favorite form of cardio exercise! I find many aerobic exercises to be monotonous and boring, so I circuit train every week. Circuits and intervals can be done in many ways. 1) Walk for 3 minutes, run for 1. 2) Walk for 3 minutes, then do a strength training exercise (such as push ups, squats, lunges, shoulder presses, etc.) 3) Do a series of 8 - 10 weight training exercises (I like to alternate a lower body, then upper body exercise) back to back, with no rest, and then do 2 minutes of cardio. The 3rd is the way I circuit train, and you will definitely be panting and sweating. I usually run through my circuit 3 - 4 times.
These are supplements that have shown to have positive affects on heart health. Of course, always talk to your doctor before adding any vitamins or supplements to your diet. Some can affect any prescriptions that you may be taking.
- Fish Oil
- Co Q10
- Vitamin D
Also, remember that smoking, stress, and anxiety are huge contributors to heart disease. You only have one life and one heart, but many people who love and need you. Take responsibility for your health now, and live the long, happy, healthy life that you and your family deserve!