While modern medicine has come a long way in helping people to live longer, it is only one piece of the puzzle when it comes to total wellness. In addition to regular check-ups, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle to prevent the formation or worsening of certain heart conditions. When both doctors and patients do their part, optimal health can be achieved.
We’ve put together some preventative habits you can incorporate into your lifestyle to promote better heart health.
1. Make getting enough sleep a priority.
According to the Sleep Foundation, not getting enough sleep has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease. Night time is when the heart gets to rest and when it doesn’t get enough rest – or too much of it — complications such as high blood pressure may occur. To keep your hearth healthy and perform optimally throughout the day, 7-9 hours of sleep is recommended for adults.
2. Take time to meditate.
According to Harvard Health Publishing, meditation has psychological benefits which translate into physical benefits. This state of relaxation improves a number of bodily processes such as the delivery of oxygen, lowering of blood pressure, as well as a drop in adrenaline levels. All of the aforementioned allow your heart to proceed with its crucial functions with ease almost immediately. Meditation also allows you to process stress better, which has long-term benefits for your heart.
3. Keep your bowel movements regular.
While occasional constipation isn’t something that should alarm you, chronic constipation can indicate a possibility of a heart attack or stroke in the future. The consistent action of straining may result in slower blood flow which can lead to a blood clot. Keep yourself hydrating and eating plenty of fiber-rich foods such as beans, avocados, lentils, oatmeal, apples, pears and many more, can help keep your bowel movements regular. To ensure you consume fiber every day, plan out your week so that at least one meal each day contains a fiber-rich item.
4. Drink hibiscus tea.
It’s not just a Starbucks craze. The consistent consumption of Hibiscus tea has shown to have a positive impact on hypertensive patients as its antioxidant components lower blood pressure. The daily recommended amount is between 1 and 3 cups.
5. Eat ginger root – but ask your doctor first!
Ginger has been a popular remedy for gastrointestinal issues for thousands of years. You may have heard, “Have a tummy ache? Drink some ginger ale.” Its cardiovascular benefits are little known but can be powerful with some patients. However, too much ginger can hurt patients with certain heart conditions, so it is important to speak with your cardiologist before ingesting ginger root or making any dietary changes.
6. Eat magnesium-rich food.
Most know to get enough water, protein and complex carbohydrates. But magnesium? This nutrient is often missed, although it coordinates the interaction between the heart muscle and the nerves that initiate its contractions (heartbeats). Low magnesium levels can cause arrythmia, or irregular heartbeats, which can also cause angina. An easy way to increase your intake of magnesium is to incorporate dark leafy greens into your diet such as spinach!
7. Routine doctor visits.
Do you know how your heart is doing? If the answer is “not sure”, it’s a great time to schedule an appointment with us. Don’t wait for a health problem to occur to visit a doctor. Prevent heart issues by going in for a regular checkup. If there is a concern, it is best to catch and treat it early.
A healthy lifestyle with manageable healthy routines like these will spare you of more serious health consequences and give you a better quality of life.
To schedule an appointment with North Suffolk Cardiology, call 631.203.8863 today.