4 Ways to Live a Heart-Healthy Lifestyle in 2022
Whether you’ve been diagnosed with heart disease, you’re at high risk, or you simply want the best chance at living a longer life, there are countless valid reasons for living a heart-healthy lifestyle. With the new year quickly approaching, this is the perfect time to set some attainable goals and start paying closer attention to your heart health.
Being the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States, it’s critically important to understand heart disease, its risks, and the preventative measures you can take against it. Here, we’ve come up with a list of some of the best ways to start being heart-healthy in 2022.
1. Find stress-relieving strategies
Believe it or not, stress is one of the contributing factors of heart disease. Sudden, emotionally intense events or emergencies can trigger heart attacks, while regular stress can lead to high blood pressure or heart disease. Avoiding it at all costs will decrease your chances of developing the condition, which is where stress-relieving activities can be crucial.
Find an activity that sparks joy and allows you to release your tension. These could be relaxation exercises like yoga and meditation, or simple communication where you can verbally express your struggles and emotions. Many also find physical activities stress-reducing, such as walking, hiking, or any types of fitness classes.
2. Reevaluate your living situation
With stress being so influential when it comes to heart-health, it’s important to take a step back and analyze your living situation along with how it could be contributing to your tension. You may have troublesome roommates, a demanding career, or financial struggles. Know that if you can recognize these pain points, you can take the initiative to change your situation at any time.
If your home life is not ideal due to distance and you’re feeling homesick, it may be time to find a new home in a place closer to family. Or, unhappy employees can search for new jobs that will suit their needs, pay more, and alleviate some of the stress that stems from finances. You can also meet with professionals who can help you better manage your money and your stress.
3. Make room for fitness
The benefits of exercising are widely known; however, for those struggling with heart health, it’s especially advantageous. Regular exercise will help you build stronger heart muscles, prevent any future and frequent chest pain from physical activity, lower blood pressure and cholesterol, and even improve your overall mood.
Talk with your doctor to discuss the safest and most effective form of exercise for you. They may suggest walking or light aerobic activity like swimming or biking at first, as you should always start slow and work your way up toward more vigorous exercise. Experts also stress the importance of stretching beforehand, rest periods, and working out in comfortable weather conditions.
4. Adopt a heart-healthy diet
The new year is the perfect time to reset your eating habits to fit in more heart-healthy foods and phase out the unhealthy ones. Limit your sodium and sugar intake and make more room for foods that are low in saturated and trans fats. Heart-healthy options include:
- Fruits and vegetables
- Whole grains
- Fatty fish
- Walnuts and almonds
- Green tea
Avoid processed foods, excessive amounts of alcohol, and meals with high-cholesterol. Mixed with regular exercise, a heart-conscious diet will help you maintain a healthy weight and overall well-being. If you’re unsure of which foods will work and which won’t, consult with your doctor or speak with a cardiovascular nutritionist to guide your heart-healthy diet.
There are many ways to cater to your cardiovascular health beyond the ones listed here. When setting your resolutions this January, do your research and make heart-healthy choices so you can live a long, comfortable life.