What’s the most effective way to improve your health? For many people, it may be focusing on a healthy heart. That’s because heart disease is still the leading cause of death in the United States, beating out cancers, as number two, and doubling deaths from COVID-19.
Still, heart disease is largely preventable. In fact, some estimates are that changes in lifestyle can prevent as many as 90% of heart disease cases. And the crazy thing is that it’s simple! With small changes to everyday habits, you can lower your risk for heart disease. Here are some daily tips to work into your routine to improve heart health. If you have concerns about your heart health, be sure to talk to a healthcare provider.
If there’s something that seems specifically designed to improve heart health, it’s being physically active. When you move around, your heart beats faster. Since the heart is a muscle, you can think of activity as strengthening your heart.
But that’s not all. Exercise moves more blood through your body. It raises healthy HDL-cholesterol levels, which helps lower levels of unhealthy fats in your blood vessels. Physical activity even lowers blood sugar, which helps your blood vessels stay healthier.
These are some tips for exercising.
- Find something you enjoy. It might be walks by yourself or in a group, working out at the gym, doing exercise DVDs at home, or taking group fitness classes. Playing a sport and gardening are other options.
- Break up sitting time. Even a few minutes of marching in place or doing squats, lunges, and arm swings after 30 minutes of sitting can help.
- Get up and move during commercials while watching television - or better yet, get on a treadmill or stationary bike while watching TV.
- Play with your kids or walk the dog to get moving and have fun.
Be sure to get your healthcare provider’s permission before starting an exercise program if you have any health conditions or have not been physically active in a while.
Nobody wants to diet, so let’s not worry about that. Instead, what about making a few healthier choices now and then? These are some simple ways to add more heart-healthy nutrients to your regular eating pattern while reducing some of the foods that are bad for your heart.
- Include vegetables as side dishes at most meals.
- Choose fish, beans, tofu, or skinless chicken instead of fatty meat.
- Look for whole-grain alternatives, such as oatmeal instead of hot wheat cereal, shredded wheat instead of refined cereal, wheat bread or pasta instead of white, and brown rice instead of white rice.
- Order small portions when you go out to eat, or save half of your meal to eat later.
- Cut dessert in half. If you want a bigger portion, add some fresh fruit alongside your smaller dessert portion.
- Choose water instead of sugar-sweetened beverages.
- Use olive oil or margarine with sterols instead of butter or shortening.
Be sure to talk to your healthcare provider before making any dramatic dietary changes.
More Daily Tips
There are some other areas you can look at to improve heart health. These are a few more tips.
- Quit smoking if you do. Most healthcare plans cover programs to help you quit smoking. Your healthcare provider or a local health clinic should be able to provide you with resources that are inexpensive or are available at no cost to you.
- Manage stress. Too much stress can be bad for heart health. Meditating, yoga, laughing with friends, and pursuing hobbies can help reduce stress.
- Get enough sleep. Getting more sleep can improve metabolic health and may help reduce stress, too.
- Know your numbers. Knowing your blood pressure and blood cholesterol levels can help guide you as you think about what you can do to improve heart health.
Vitamin Patch Tips
Are you ready for a tip that takes only minutes a day? It’s using vitamin patches. The collection of Heart Health Vitamin Patches by PatchAid includes a variety of essential vitamins and minerals, as well as other nutritional ingredients, that may be related to heart health and function.*
These are the patches in our Heart Health Vitamin Patches collection.
- Multivitamin Patch with or without Iron. The heart needs a variety of essential vitamins and minerals to be healthy. For example, B vitamins allow for normal energy production, vitamin D supports normal heart function, and selenium and vitamin C are heart-healthy antioxidants.* This patch has 27 essential vitamins and minerals. Ask your doctor whether you should get the patch with iron or without.
- Omega-3 Vitamin Patch. Omega-3 fatty acids are linked to heart health. These are “healthy fats” that are found in foods such as fish and flaxseed, and not many Americans meet recommendations for them.
- Glutathione Plus Patch. Glutathione is an antioxidant, which can help protect cells against damage from free radicals.* The patch also has vitamin C, selenium, and N-acetyl cysteine, along with other ingredients.
- Coenzyme Q10 Plus Patch. CoQ10 is an antioxidant that is often taken for heart health.* This patch also has antioxidants such as resveratrol, which is the active compound in red wine, as well as astaxanthin and vitamin C.
Heart Health Vitamin Patches by PatchAid are easy to use on a daily basis. Just apply your patch to an area of clean skin without hair, and leave it on for up to 8 hours before removing and discarding it. Repeat the next day with a new patch.
There is a lot that you can do at any age to promote heart health, from staying physically active to lowering stress to eating right. Giving your body the nutrients it needs is another tip, and Heart Health Vitamin Patches by PatchAid have essential nutrients as well as other antioxidants and more. Just ask your healthcare provider which may be right for you to use before you start using them.
*The Food and Drug Administration has not evaluated these statements. PatchAid patches are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Anyone with a medical condition should seek the advice of a licensed medical practitioner. Individual results may vary.