Heart Health: Three Ways to Keep Your Heart Fine Tuned

Like a fast-food drive-through worker taking three orders at once, your heart struggles to get recognition—until it does something wrong. And then, chaos ensues.

The good news is that—unlike your drive-through experience—you have direct control over how your heart performs on a daily basis. The even better news is just how easy it is to keep your heart on a path to lasting health.

Across America, poor heart health kills thousands each year in a variety of ways. Over 600,000 people die from heart disease every year, accounting for nearly 25 percent of total deaths in the country.

If your brain controls your body and its movements, then your heart is the engine that powers everything. A dirty, clogged up engine lends itself to decreased performance and increased maintenance. Here are three ways to keep your engine clean and running.

doctor examining a chest x-ray to look at the lungs

A Healthy Diet Is Key

You’ll be hard-pressed to find a doctor that won’t tell you that your diet is one of the most important aspects of your overall health. That sentiment rings even more true for your heart health, as studies have shown that maintaining a healthy diet correlates directly to lowering your risk of heart disease.

Some key aspects of a heart-healthy diet include plenty of low-fat proteins, foods like chicken, fish and other lean meats. It’s also important to include healthy low-fat foods, which can consist of whole-grain foods, beans, fruits and vegetables.

Get Off The Sofa

Exercise can—and should—be incorporated into your daily routine, and is an important facet to consider when making a plan to improve your heart health. As little as half an hour of exercise per day can reduce your blood pressure and cholesterol, and help you to maintain a healthy weight.

The key to getting in worthwhile exercise is to make sure that your heart rate is at an elevated state, but this doesn’t mean that you have to start training for a marathon. Doing simple tasks throughout the day, such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or biking to work instead of taking a car-share, can raise your heart rate in a healthy manner.

Everything In Moderation

Human beings, by nature, seek activities that bring a sense of happiness and carefreeness along with them. For some, these activities include vices like drinking alcohol and smoking.

Doctors recommend that any alcohol be indulged in moderation, and smoking cigarettes should be avoided altogether. Moderating or quitting these activities can reduce your stress levels, which also correlates to lower risk of heart disease.

It’s important to keep your regular primary care doctor appointments so they can look for early signs of heart disease and advise you on other ways to lower your risk. Schedule an appointment with your primary care doctor by calling 1-800-INSPIRA or find the nearest Inspira primary care office.