senior man making heart with hands on hike in the woods
June 11, 2024

Heart disease is the leading cause of death worldwide for both men and women. However, it can be preventable by making certain lifestyle changes and managing risk factors. There are a number of things you can do to keep your heart healthy and reduce your risk of heart disease. Here’s a list of some of the best ways to improve heart health that you can start doing today:

1. Eat a Balanced Diet

Eating a balanced, heart-healthy diet is one of the best ways to improve heart health and lower your risk of heart disease. Your meals should be minimally processed and low in saturated and trans fats, added sugars, and sodium. Make sure you’re eating plenty of high-fiber foods like fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains as well as lean proteins and healthy fats such as fish, avocados, and olive oil.

2. Get Active

senior couple riding bicycles outdoors

A sedentary lifestyle can increase your risk of heart disease. One of the easiest ways to improve heart health is to get moving. Taking the stairs instead of the elevator is a great way to add extra activity into your routine. According to the American Heart Association, adults need at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week, so try to find physical activities you enjoy and do them a few times each week. These could include walking, bicycling, dancing, swimming, etc.

3. Maintain a Healthy Weight

People who are overweight or obese have a higher risk of high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. If you are overweight or obese, one of the ways to improve heart health is to lose weight. Losing just 5 to 10 percent of your body weight can help lower your risk of heart disease. Set reasonable goals and keep a log of diet and exercise to help you reach them. For some people, semaglutide may be another option as a weight loss treatment.

4. Quit Smoking

close up of woman's hands breaking cigarette in half

If you smoke, one of the best ways to improve heart health is to quit. Studies have found links between smoking and a number of health conditions, including heart disease, pulmonary disease, stroke, and cancer. Smoking is one of the top controllable risk factors for heart disease. Quitting is tough, but it’s essential to quit for your heart and overall health. It’s also important to avoid secondhand smoke as well.

5. Manage Stress

Too much stress can have a negative impact on various aspects of your health, including your heart health. Chronic stress causes a rise in blood pressure and heart rate and has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease and stroke. If you want to improve heart health, you should find healthy ways to manage your stress. Examples of healthy stress management techniques include deep breathing, meditation, yoga, exercise, puzzles, social interaction, and creative hobbies like drawing or knitting.

6. Limit Alcohol

assortment of cocktails

Heavy alcohol consumption is detrimental to your heart health. Consuming too much alcohol can significantly increase your risk of heart disease. If you choose to drink, make sure you only drink in moderation. Limit your alcohol intake to a maximum of one drink per day or less. However, abstaining from alcohol completely is an even better way to improve heart health.

Improve Heart Health with Supplements

These are some of the best ways to improve heart health that you can start doing daily to reduce your risk of heart disease and other health conditions. For your heart to stay healthy, it needs certain nutrients to support its ability to function well. You may benefit from taking these key supplements for heart health to help your heart stay healthy and strong.

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