How to look after your heart

Your heart is your hardest working muscle – pumping out blood and keeping you alive from nanosecond to nanosecond. And since today is World Heart Day, we thought we’d share this expert advice on how to love your heart and keep it in top shape. While they may be obvious, every so often it pays to have a gentle reminder.

1. Exercise
Exercising your body also means your heart muscles get a work out. Try to fit in at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity (to the point where you become slightly short of breath), five days a week.

2. Keep moving throughout the day
While your daily exercise is a good start, you also need to be active all day to keep your heart efficiently pumping. If you find yourself sitting down for most of the day, this is your cue to get moving.

3. Eat what your great-grandma ate
The best way to eat for your heart (and your body) hasn’t changed in hundreds of years. In other words, ditch the packaged stuff and stick to whole foods, such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds, legumes, fish and limited lean meat.

4. Stop smoking
Need we say more? Smoking is simply bad for everything.

5. Take a chill pill
Stress is a part of daily life. But it’s how you respond to the stress that matters.

When under pressure, you release extra adrenaline, which, in turn, sendsyour hearts into overdrive. Exercise, meditation and yoga helps your body to handle and release stress. If you’re still feeling overwhelmed, talk to someone, such as a trusted friend or a professional counsellor.

6. Get enough shut-eye
During your sleep, your heart rate and blood pressure decrease, giving your heart a much-needed break from a hard day’s work. Without this break, your body stays stressed and, as a result, you’ll crave high-calorie (usually processed) foods – which, in turn, are bad for your heart.

Read more at WebMD.

YourLifeChoices Writers
YourLifeChoices Writers
YourLifeChoices' team of writers specialise in content that helps Australian over-50s make better decisions about wealth, health, travel and life. It's all in the name. For 22 years, we've been helping older Australians live their best lives.
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