It’s the small things in life that make a big difference in the long run for our health. Key lifestyle changes for better blood pressure, cholesterol and heart health can help ensure a long life with fewer medical worries.
1. Drink More Water
It sounds simple, but think about how much water you have had today or yesterday. If you haven’t had much or any at all, your body is dehydrated and not working at full capacity.
Your body is made up of about 60% water and if it doesn’t receive enough, your heart will have to work harder to pump blood to the rest of the body. Also, when you drink less water, the salt in your blood becomes more concentrated and can build up along blood vessel walls.
Drinking water also helps your kidneys to flush out toxins and regulate blood flow. Keeping toxins out of your body will help keep your heart healthy.
2. Exercise More Often
While many people do exercise, doing so more than three or four times a week will have greater benefits. Exercise is one of the key lifestyle changes for better blood pressure, cholesterol, and heart health.
Exercising at least 30 minutes a day can lower blood pressure and increase HDL (good cholesterol) levels. Exercising can be anything from a stroll in the park to a kickboxing class. All that matters is that you are moving your body.
Exercise also helps to reduce stress, which can cause heart problems. It will also clear your mind and get you ready for the day.
3. Stretch Your Legs
Getting in some walking time while at work can help to increase blood flow and decrease blood pressure. Sitting for long periods of time has shown to be harmful to your heart health.
Walk around at least once an hour or simply get up and stretch. Stretching will help those tightened muscles to loosen up and increase circulation.
4. Eat Balanced Meals
Try to make a conscious effort to pack a lunch and not eat out for more than 1-2 meals each week. Fast food restaurants will not provide you with the nutrients your body needs.
Reducing your salt, sugar, fat, and cholesterol intake is another one of the key lifestyle changes for better blood pressure, cholesterol, and heart health. Eating well will help you feel better inside and out.
Cook at home more often and make sure that vegetables make up about 50% of your meal. Vegetables are low in calories, but high in fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants.
5. Workout Your Stress
Stress can come from work, roommates, family, or even the dog. Instead of bottling up the stress (which puts tension on your back muscles and heart), try to talk out problems. It may not be convenient, but your heart will thank you.
If you try talking and nothing changes, go for a run or do some yoga to calm your nerves. Stress can lead to high blood pressure and heart attacks, so take care of it early on. Built up stress doesn’t do anyone any good.