Your ideal heart health basically comes down to a few things:
… diet, sugar, physical activity, and smoking. In fact, your entire physiology benefits from being aware of these things. They are simple and even intuitive, yet not always the easiest to implement. Changing lifestyle habits can difficult; be gentle with yourself and remember every change, leads to bigger changes and the health outcome you want and desire.
Eat whole colorful real food
Limit or remove sugar
Reduce sugar slowly (1 tsp of sugar in your coffee versus 2), and replace raw organic maple syrup, honey or stevia if need be. Go slow and be gentle with yourself.
Exercise for at least 20 minutes every day
Get your blood circulating. It helps deliver nutrients and oxygen into all cells. You don’t need much but you do need something, every single day.
Do not smoke
There is too much to write about why not to smoke; just do not do it and if you do, find help to stop.
Unfortunately, there are many heart myths that have been passed around for decades. Many of these myths give us a sense of relief and excuses to ignore their health.
Below just a few heart myths that are important for everyone to be aware of.
1. Only the elderly have heart problems
With the overindulging of high sugar and processed foods amongst our children, we are seeing a larger increase in heart disease in the young.
2. Once I have heart disease, that’s it
This is simply not true. Changing lifestyle habits – eating, exercising – can make a profound difference in preventing heart disease.
3. Low fat and low cholesterol diets are good for my heart
Fat is very important in the body. I have written about in past posts and really, you can not live optimally without good sources of fat in your diet.
4. If my blood pressure or cholesterol were high, I would feel sick
The body does not want to be sick and does an amazing job at keeping as healthy as it possibly can, for as long as it possibly can. The heart will begin to show signs (high cholesterol or blood pressure) when it cannot keep up with all the stress or lack of nutrition but you will not feel this… it needs to be tested by your physician.
5. Heart disease is genetic
We all have the potential to have heart problems whether or not there is a family history. Lifestyle decisions have the greatest impact on whether our genes will turn on or off. Eat whole colorful foods, exercise daily, limit sugar and stop smoking. These factors will keep your heart healthy, strong and reduce any risk of possible heart problems.
Heart trivia: Did you know that the heart beats approximately 30 million times a year?