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8 Essential Ways To Strengthen Your Heart

The heart is a muscular organ which needs to be stronger as it is involved in one of the major tasks of the body i.e., pumping the blood throughout the body. Unnecessary stress, high cholesterol and lack of exercise can decrease the heart's life. There's no shortcut to getting a healthy heart in a day. However, there are several simple methods by which one can strengthen their heart muscles and live long and healthy.

Ways To Strengthen The Heart

1. Keep moving

Physical inactivity leads to various chronic diseases like diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular diseases. According to a study, [1] physical inactivity is the major cause of heart-related disease causing a maximum number of premature deaths. The study also says that people with improved physical fitness for a longer period of time is at lower risk of cardiovascular diseases. Therefore, it is advised to stay active and keep moving.

2. Reduce belly fat

According to a study, greater accumulation of visceral adipose tissue (VAT) and abdominal subcutaneous adipose tissue (SAT) is relatively linked to several cardio diseases. Reduction in these two major fat volumes decrease the risk of heart-related diseases and help a person improve their quality of life. [2]

3. Exercise daily

There are various scientific proofs that show that daily exercise is very essential for decreasing the risk of heart-based diseases and the mortality rate of the condition. A person who exercises daily have a more favourable plasma lipoprotein profile, high insulin sensitivity, and normal blood pressure. Even moderate exercise daily is very effective in reducing the risk of vascular disease. [3]

4. Quit Smoking

Cigarettes contain nicotine which when consumed, hikes up the blood pressure and heart rate of the body. This further leads to an increase in the oxygen demand by the heart and a reduction in the oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood, leading a person to coronary vasoconstriction. However, quitting smoking reverses the risk of the condition. [4]

5. Choose a healthy diet

Nutrition plays a vital role in preventing cardiovascular diseases. According to a study conducted by the Israel Heart Association and the Israel Dietetic Association, the nutritional information for a healthy heart should be in 3 sections: dietary patterns (low carb, low fat or Mediterranean diet), individual food preference (vegetables, fruits, coffee, dairy products, etc), and nutritional supplements (fish oil, vitamin D, antioxidants, etc). [5]

6. Maintain your sleep timings

Maintaining sleep timing is very important for preventing the risk of heart diseases. According to the Alameda County study, people who sleep for less than 4 hours are three times more prone to heart disease than people who had 8 hours of sleep. Also, sleep deprivation causes high BP, fatigue, and increased heart rate which contributes to cardio disease. [6]

7. Drink moderate alcohol

Drinking a moderate amount of alcohol is effective in reducing the risk of many cardio diseases like stroke, hypertension, cardiomyopathy, etc. A low dose of alcohol (

8. Avoid taking unnecessary stress

Psychological stress is linked to the risk of cardio diseases. Several studies show that stress for a long time can trigger coronary heart disease (CHD) and stress-specific heart diseases like stress cardiomyopathy and myocardial ischemia. Thus, to cope with the situation, stress management is very necessary. This can be carried out by yoga or meditation. [8]

Tips For A Better Heart

  • Don't forget to take a 10 minutes walk daily.
  • Add a fruit to your diet daily.
  • Cut down on sweetened drinks or soda.
  • Breath slowly and deeply.
  • Try to connect to people as it helps to reduce stress.
  • Stay clean and wash hands daily to be infection-free.
  • Consume omega-3 high fish like salmon and tuna once in a week.
  • Don't miss out on breakfast.
View Article References
  1. [1] Warburton, D. E., Nicol, C. W., & Bredin, S. S. (2006). Health benefits of physical activity: the evidence. CMAJ : Canadian Medical Association journal = journal de l'Association medicale canadienne, 174(6), 801–809. doi:10.1503/cmaj.051351
  2. [2] Lee, J. J., Pedley, A., Hoffmann, U., Massaro, J. M., & Fox, C. S. (2016). Association of Changes in Abdominal Fat Quantity and Quality With Incident Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors. Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 68(14), 1509–1521. doi:10.1016/j.jacc.2016.06.067
  3. [3] Nystoriak, M. A., & Bhatnagar, A. (2018). Cardiovascular Effects and Benefits of Exercise. Frontiers in cardiovascular medicine, 5, 135. doi:10.3389/fcvm.2018.00135
  4. [4] Gottlieb, S. O. (1992). Cardiovascular benefits of smoking cessation. Heart disease and stroke: a journal for primary care physicians, 1(4), 173-175.
  5. [5] Eilat-Adar, S., Sinai, T., Yosefy, C., & Henkin, Y. (2013). Nutritional recommendations for cardiovascular disease prevention. Nutrients, 5(9), 3646–3683. doi:10.3390/nu5093646
  6. [6] Nagai, M., Hoshide, S., & Kario, K. (2010). Sleep duration as a risk factor for cardiovascular disease- a review of the recent literature. Current cardiology reviews, 6(1), 54–61. doi:10.2174/157340310790231635
  7. [7] Piano M. R. (2017). Alcohol's Effects on the Cardiovascular System. Alcohol research : current reviews, 38(2), 219–241.
  8. [8] Steptoe, A., & Kivimäki, M. (2012). Stress and cardiovascular disease. Nature Reviews Cardiology, 9(6), 360.
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