The heart is a muscle, albeit a specialised one, but a muscle all the same. The good news here is that we can train our heart muscle like we train our biceps.. .and who doesn’t like a good set of guns?!.
What does having a healthy heart mean to you? To me it’s part of the ‘machine’ that allows me to exercise, funnily enough, to my heart’s content…..what is it to you?
We can all improve our heart health, even if you already have been diagnosed with heart disease. My 7 top tips for heart health include:
1. Eat well – fresh foods, minimal saturated fats, limited salt, lots of water. You know the drill….
- Go for good fats – avocado, oily fish, nuts, olive oil – all in moderation
- Salt is linked with high blood pressure so avoid adding to cooking or at the table, and be mindful of hidden salt used as preservative
- Water is a wonderful cleanser – helps so many body functions.
2. Enjoy some regular exercise. The key factor here is enjoy – find something fun, be it a team sport, walking, dancing, or stand up paddle boarding. Aim for 30 minutes daily and remember the rules of fun and variety.
3. Seems pretty obvious – get some assistance to get rid of the cigarettes forever. Smoking is linked to many chronic diseases so seek some help and kick the habit.
4. Make sure your waist measurement is under control – the higher the waist measurement the more the heart needs to work.
5. Keep your blood pressure under control with mindfulness and meditation practise. Hypertension puts an increased workload on the heart so manage stress as with some new calming techniques.
6. Develop positive sleep patterns – the rest you get will help the body avoid chronic disease as well as allow the ‘machine’ to recover so you can go again tomorrow!
7. Develop strong connections with friends and family – these are important links to maintaining emotional heart health as well as helping build resilience to stressors.
Don’t forget, your body is a machine, ably assisted by a healthy heart – look after it!
Article by By Mel Ingram, Wellness Consultant and Retreat Physio – Golden Door Health Retreat & Spa Elysia