The heart is one of the most important organs in the human body Health has a direct impact on our quality of life. However, modern people’s lives are fast-paced and stressful, and heart health is often neglected. In fact, our hearts are very sensitive and can reflect our lifestyle and our environment. A study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the most important thing to keeping your heart healthy is making lifestyle changes.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) heart disease will remain the leading cause of death in the United States through 2022. Although factors such as genetics can contribute to heart disease, the best way to prevent heart problems is to keep your heart healthy. According to the American Heart Association (AHA), many risk factors can be modified or controlled.

“Lifestyle has a big impact on the health of your heart,” Holly S. Anderson, MD, attending cardiologist and associate professor of clinical medicine at Weill Cornell Medical Center at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, tells Health. “It’s more important than genetics.” Dr. Anderson puts it succinctly: The American Heart Association (AHA) estimates that 80 percent of all cardiovascular diseases, including heart disease and stroke, are preventable.

Jennifer Haythe, MD, associate professor of cardiology at the Center for Advanced Cardiac Care, associate director of the Adult Pulmonary Hypertension Program and director of the Cardiac Obstetrics Program at Columbia University Irving Medical Center. The doctor agrees. “Many heart diseases are preventable,” said Dr. Hayes told Health. “If people started taking care of their hearts in their 20s, 30s and 40s, they wouldn’t have to see a cardiologist for most of their lives.”

What can you do to keep your heart healthy? If we do these eight things regularly as we age, we can have a healthy heart.

Exercise most days of the week

The American Heart Association recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate- to high-intensity exercise per week. You can train harder in less time, and 75 minutes of “vigorous aerobic exercise” per week, or a combination of moderate and high-intensity exercise, is also effective.

Additionally, experts recommend spreading out your workouts throughout the week rather than cramming them all into one or two days. If you really can’t find time for exercise, a daily walk after meals can be considered exercise.


Maintain a normal blood pressure range

It is important to know your blood pressure. High blood pressure (medically known as hypertension) has no specific symptoms, but uncontrolled blood pressure can lead to heart disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). If you are diagnosed with high blood pressure, be sure to follow your doctor’s advice. If your doctor prescribes you medication, be sure to follow it. The best way to monitor your blood pressure regularly is to purchase a blood pressure monitor.

Blood pressure

Be aware of your food

Nutrition is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle. The American Heart Association (AHA) strongly recommends the DASH diet. The full name of DASH is: Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, which translated into Chinese means “Dietary Approaches to Prevent Hypertension.” This approach was initiated by the United States in 1997 and is based on research by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI). Diet plan. The DASH diet can lower high blood pressure, improve cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease.

The DASH diet recommends consuming enough vegetables, fruits and low-fat milk (or skimmed milk) to maintain adequate intake of potassium, magnesium, calcium, etc. and to minimize the amount of fat in the diet (especially animal fats, which are rich of saturated fatty acids). acids). , can effectively lower blood pressure. A 2018 study of 7,447 participants published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that people at high risk of cardiovascular disease who followed the DASH diet developed more cardiovascular disease than people who followed low-fat diet. Lower chance of serious cardiovascular events. According to the American Heart Association (AHA), the DASH diet promotes the following foods:

  • Eat more vegetables, fruits, whole grains and legumes.
  • Eat more healthy fats. Extra virgin olive oil, avocados, seeds and nuts are good sources of healthy fats.
  • Eat in moderation: low-fat or fat-free dairy products, eggs and poultry.
  • Eat fish in moderation. Fish is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which have anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Drink small to moderate amounts of wine and limit sugary drinks and sweets.
  • Eat less red meat. Eat more fish or poultry.
  • Try to eat as few processed foods as possible.

Monitor weight regularly

According to a 2017 study published in the journal Medicine, being underweight can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. In the study, underweight was defined as a body mass index (BMI) below 18.5 kg/m2. In addition, being overweight or obese also increases the risk of heart disease. In a 2021 American Heart Association scientific statement published in the journal Circulation, the authors wrote that obesity directly contributes to cardiovascular risk factors, including dyslipidemia, type 2 diabetes and hypertension. Blood pressure and sleep disorders. Obesity also contributes to the development of cardiovascular disease and death from cardiovascular disease.

Do your best to reduce stress

The latest research report from the American Heart Association (AHA) shows that stress has become an increasingly serious health problem, not only damaging our hearts but also triggering a range of bad lifestyle habits such as lack of exercise and overeating. These habits can also lead to high blood pressure and high cholesterol, which can increase your risk of heart disease.

In these fast-moving times, each of us can be exposed to various stresses: work pressure, life pressure, study pressure… These stresses not only affect our mood, but also affect our physical health. cause irreversible effects.

Experts recommend incorporating meditation and breathing exercises into your daily routine to reduce stress.

do not smoke

Smoking causes blood vessels to constrict and increases blood pressure. It also increases blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels, increasing the risk of heart disease. Studies show that smokers have a multiple times higher risk of developing heart disease than non-smokers.

Smoking also accelerates the process of arteriosclerosis and makes originally healthy blood vessels brittle and vulnerable. If a blood vessel ruptures, it can have serious consequences such as a heart attack.

Long-term smoking can damage the heart muscle and lead to reduced heart function. Smokers often suffer from heart palpitations and shortness of breath, which are related to impaired heart function.

Try not to drink alcohol

A 2017 study published in the American Heart Association (AHA) journal Circulation showed that drinking a glass of red wine a day could lower your risk of dying from heart disease, but according to the AHA, there is no evidence that drinking Red wine improves your health Heart health. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend no more than one drink per day for women and no more than two drinks per day for men.

Make sure you get enough sleep

In modern society, more and more people are paying attention to sleep quality as the pace of life accelerates and work pressure increases. However, many people don’t fully understand the impact sleep has on heart health. In fact, lack of sleep has become one of the most important risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

Lack of sleep can cause the body to release stress hormones like adrenaline, which can increase blood pressure and heart rate and increase strain on the heart.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that most adults get between 7 and 9 hours of sleep each night. Constantly falling below this number can harm your heart. Expert research shows: “Poor sleep is linked to high blood pressure and can make it difficult to lose weight.” It’s also bad for the heart. Sleep is a good time for your heart to recharge.

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Last Update: 19 April 2024