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4 Simple Tips to Improve Heart Health

September 07, 2021

What are simple tips to improve heart health?


  1. Quit smoking
  2. Maintain a healthy weight and exercise regularly
  3. Eat a heart-healthy diet
  4. Get regular heart health checks


According to the World Health Organization (WHO), cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death in the world. About 17.9 million people died from cardiovascular diseases in 2019 and this accounts for a staggering 32% of worldwide deaths. The good news is that most of these cardiovascular diseases can be prevented by following some of the simple tips to improve heart health.


Your heart is responsible for delivering ​​blood to every organ. Despite its importance to the body, many people neglect heart health. You can ask the best cardiologist in the Philippines and they will tell you that what you eat, how much physical activity you do, and just about everything you do can have a tremendous impact on your heart health. This is why improving heart health involves making the necessary lifestyle changes and managing one’s risk factors for developing cardiovascular diseases.


Below are four ways to improve your heart health according to cardiovascular specialists. Taking small actions today can help you prevent suffering from cardiovascular diseases in the future.


Quit Smoking


Every time you breathe, the lungs receive oxygen and transport it to the heart. In turn, the heart pumps oxygen-rich blood throughout the rest of the organs. When you smoke, the blood distributed becomes contaminated with the chemicals in tobacco. This damages nearly every organ in your body, leading to cardiovascular diseases such as hypertension, heart attack, stroke, aneurysms, coronary heart disease, and peripheral artery disease.


In addition to permanently damaging your organs, cigarette smoking can also cause plaque to build up in your arteries. Over time, plaque build-up can lead to atherosclerosis. When the chemicals in cigarettes result in atherosclerosis, less oxygen blood and oxygen reach the heart muscle because of blocked arteries. Ultimately, this can cause a heart attack, stroke, or ischemic heart disease. Keep in mind that ischemic heart disease is a type of cardiovascular disease that is recognized as the main cause of death globally. 


There are many tips to improve heart health, but quitting smoking is one of the best among all of them. If you are a non-smoker, make sure to steer clear of people who smoke too. Secondhand smokers also have a 25% to 30% increased risk of developing heart diseases.


Maintain A Healthy Weight and Exercise Regularly


Obese people need more blood to supply oxygen to the rest of the organs in their bodies which causes high blood pressure also known as hypertension. Unfortunately, high blood pressure is also a major risk factor for stroke, heart attack, and cardiac-related deaths. Another negative effect of obesity is that it contributes to an increased level of cholesterol, specifically high triglycerides and LDL cholesterol (“bad” cholesterol).


Consider visiting your doctor to calculate your BMI and maintain a healthy weight. Exercise can help you lose weight, strengthen your heart muscles, and reduce stress. It is suggested that adults should do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise (e.g., brisk walking) a week or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise (e.g., jogging or running) every week.


Weight loss requires plenty of time and effort. And while it is crucial to exercise to lose weight in hopes of improving your heart health, it would be best to take things slowly. You can also consult with your doctor about what exercises to do to lose weight safely.


Eat A Heart-Healthy Diet


Your diet plays a key role in improving your heart health. Make sure to eat a heart-healthy diet that is low in saturated fat, trans fat, sweets, red meats, processed food, and sugary beverages. Instead, eat varieties of food that are rich in nutrients such as fiber-rich whole grains, vegetables, fruits, lean meat, low-fat dairy products, fish, and beans.


It is also highly recommended to cut down your sodium intake to 2,300mg per day. Consuming too much sodium or salty food can lead to high blood pressure, which is a risk for cardiovascular diseases. If you already have hypertension, the sodium limit should be further reduced to 1,500mg per day.


Once you know which foods to consume more and which ones to limit, you’ll be working on improving your heart health significantly. 


Get Regular Heart Health Checks


Improving your heart health can be made easier by simply getting a heart health check. According to the American Heart Association, heart health checks should begin as early as age 20. When you book a heart check appointment with your cardiologist, you will be able to find out your probability of developing cardiovascular diseases in the next few years.


The doctor will assess your risk factors for cardiovascular diseases based on your age, weight, height, medical history, diet, physical activity, blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and smoking status to name a few. After determining your risk level, your doctor will recommend specific methods to improve your heart health. Many people find it ideal to do heart health checks because a personalized, comprehensive heart program can be prescribed.


Key Takeaway


Your heart is one of the most important organs in your body with vital functions. Don’t wait around until you develop cardiovascular diseases and take the time to invest in your heart health today. The four simple tips to improve your heart health above can help you get started.


Looking to book a heart health check from the best cardiologist in the Philippines? There’s no better choice than Cardinal Santos Medical Center (CSMC). We have a dedicated Heart Clinic designed to provide patient education on how to recognize heart disease symptoms, manage heart disease factors, and refer cardiac rehabilitation if needed.


Click here to inquire about how to book an appointment at the Cardinal Santos’ Heart Clinic. You can also book an online teleconsult with CSMC doctors specializing in cardiology by clicking here. Have your doctor’s appointment from the comfort of your home!