Heart Healthy Tips for All

Heart Healthy Tips for All

By Cynthia Thaik, M.D., FACC

Heart Healthy Tips for All

 

Heart disease is responsible for 1 in 4 deaths per year in the U.S and has a steady distribution between race and genders. Our heart is responsible for pumping blood through our arteries, and to vital parts of the body like the lungs, delivering oxygen-rich blood, so it’s crucial that we take care of it. 

 

Leading an unhealthy lifestyle can greatly affect the functionality of the heart and lead to high blood pressure and coronary disease. Breakdowns in diet, prolonged inactivity, or lack of sleep can stress out our heart and lead to potential complications. However, we can take small steps to protect ourselves from contracting heart-related issues and love our heart so it loves us back!

 

Eat Healthy

 

A healthy diet not only helps our general sense of wellbeing but can also aid in maintaining a healthy weight based on our body and age, which is directly related to the health of our heart. By keeping a healthy weight and balanced diet, we are also protecting ourselves against issues such as diabetes.  Aside from the multiple health benefits of eating healthy, our body will be feeling better too.

 

While there’s no one diet perfect for everyone, it’s important we understand how our body performs and reacts to certain foods. Finding a mix of healthy and delicious foods will not only make this lifestyle change easy, but also exciting! Generally, it’s wise to stick to food high in vitamins like fruits and veggies and minimize our snacking on processed foods.

 

Exercise More

 

As we get older, it can be tougher to exercise as our bone health begins to decrease and metabolism slows down. Mixing in moderate exercise a few times a week, however, can help strengthen muscles and even protect us from neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s. In terms of benefitting our heart, exercise is crucial with age as it helps circulate blood through our bodies, decreasing blood pressure.

 

Take a Break

 

If stressing out is common, or working long hours, maybe crashing during the middle of the day or having a short temper, it’s probably time to take a mental or physical break. Stress can run riot on our emotional and physical well being, leading to high blood pressure and even affecting relationships. Beyond the emotional downside of stress, it can also disrupt our eating habits, leading to stress-eating which can cancel out any strides we were making toward a healthy diet and exercise. It’s good knowing when to take time for yourself and when to have a restful night or say no to making plans every now and then.

 

Fight the Symptoms

 

Noticing the early signs of heart complications can help us and our doctor get ahead of any potential issues. As noted above, a few general tips for staying heart healthy can go a long way, but understanding the signs and symptoms and how to combat them early on is just as important.

graphic of 6 reasons to love your heart

Physical Issues

  • Heart diseases affect men and women physically through complications associated with issues like hair loss and low libido, respectfully. If we or our partner are experiencing either, consider a hair loss medication or a libido pill to help. Hair loss can be prompted by decreased blood flow to our hair follicles which could be a result of heart disease. While low libido can be the result of various issues, we can combat symptoms such as stress by talking to our partner about how we are feeling and experiencing.

 

Sleeping Issues

  • Noticing changes in our quality of sleep can be an early indicator of heart issues. Experiencing uncommon chest pains while laying in bed, or a shortness of breath can be a sign that we should talk to our doctor. Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep a night to wake up recharged and ready for the day. Taking care of our heart’s health will make sure everything else functions how it should. Whether we act on all these tips or add our own twists to fit our lifestyle, one thing is for sure our heart will be feeling better and, over time, we will also feel the benefits!

 

About the author

Dr. Cynthia Thaik, M.D., FACC is a Harvard-trained cardiologist serving the greater Los Angeles community at her holistic health center in Burbank and Valencia, CA. Dr. Thaik is the author of Your Vibrant Heart: Restoring Health, Strength, and Spirit from the Body’s Core. To learn more about Dr. Thaik or the Holistic Healing Heart Center, or to schedule an appointment, please contact info@drcynthia.com or call (818) 842-1410.