Here at Life's Grape we want only the best for you, which is why today’s article is going to be kicked off with a story.
Imagine this - You’re sitting out on the porch and it feels amazing out, the weather’s not too warm and it’s not too cool, there’s a fiery sunset in the sky that causes the clouds to turn that beautiful shade of cotton candy pink that you love and it’s just perfect. Your favorite drink is in the cupholder of your comfiest chair, and you’re thinking about how amazing life has been lately. You got the promotion of a lifetime two months ago and ever since your life has been spectacular. You finally bought the car you’ve been dreaming about since you were a kid, you just got engaged to your significant other and all of your needs and wants have been taken care of.
Life is great.
Then all of a sudden you feel an excruciating pain in your chest that causes you to clutch at it weakly. Your body is suddenly covered in a cold sweat accompanied by short and ragged breaths, your body is racked with a squeezing pressure that is choking the life from your body.
Your vision is tunneling and blackness begins to overtake you.
Thoughts of the fancy wedding you’ve been dreaming of, the things that you didn’t say to those that you love and everything that you haven’t yet done in your life FLOODS your brain.
Then there’s nothing, nothing but stillness...
Sometimes a good story is better than a thousand words.
Using that story I wanted to illustrate to you what happens to about 610,000 people each year who unexpectedly lose their life due to the leading cause of death in the United States; Heart disease…
We don’t want you to be the person in that story, instead we want you to live a long and happy life. Which is why we’ve decided to write about heart disease, and to hopefully help you to avoid it.
Each day you have the opportunity to go out and chase your dreams to your heart’s content. You can travel to the most beautiful places in the world, try amazing new foods or even find love...all because you are alive.
Your heart is pumping oxygen-rich blood throughout your body, your lungs are being filled with refreshing air, and your brain is using your nervous system to make sure each part of your body is doing it’s part to help you see another day and live a full and healthy life.
Your body is doing it’s part to make sure you see another day, but are you doing all that you could be doing to help your body?
This is what could happen if you have an unhealthy heart
If your heart can no longer handle the task of getting blood and nutrients around your body what will happen?
Unpleasant things, which may result in a shorter and less happy life.
With an unhealthy heart comes an increased likelihood of:
- Heart attacks
- Heart failure
- Impaired sexual functions (such as Erectile Dysfunction)
That’s just to name a few of the many complications that can arise when dealing with an unhealthy heart. I’d like to avoid all of those unpleasantries and instead live a long, happy and healthy life, how about you?
If yes, continue reading this article for actionable information that could very well help you live a longer and happier life!
Three habits to adapt for a healthy heart
To help you better understand how you can keep a healthier heart, I’ve put together this list of three habits that you can start implementing today to actively influence your heart health for the better.
- Maintain a heart-healthy diet
- Frequent exercise
- Manage your stress
These three different habits are all recommended by various experts of cardiovascular health and they may be able to help keep your heart healthy, but ONLY if you’re willing to commit yourself to actively taking control of your heart health day in and day out.
With that being said, let’s step right on forward in our journey towards a heart-healthy life.
Habit # 1
Eat a heart-healthy diet.
If you don’t know what a heart healthy diet is, don’t worry, you’re about to find out!
Simply put, a heart-healthy diet consists of foods from the different food groups such as vegetables, fruits and whole grains, which is intended to limit your cholesterol, sodium, sugar and salt.
As for what it should consist of, here’s a few recommended examples of heart-healthy food:
Fruits such as vine-dried grapes. Raisins are high in potassium and help to reduce stiffness in the arteries, eating vine-dried grapes will help your blood flow more freely without encountering any opposing blockage.
Vegetables such as asparagus. Asparagus contains vitamin B6, a vitamin that lowers homocysteine, a form of amino acid that has been linked to heart disease.
Whole grains like oatmeal. Oatmeal is high in Beta Glucan, a soluble fiber that helps to lower the bad cholesterol, when there’s less bad cholesterol in your body there’s less stress on your heart.
Fish such as salmon. Salmon is great for your heart’s health, salmon contains a type of unsaturated fat called Omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are important because they help to vine-dried grapes prevent death from heart disease according to this article from Mayoclinic.
This list could go on for miles if we let it, instead I’ll leave you with this link to an article on Mayoclinic.org which has a couple heart-healthy meals you can take a look at.
My hope is that you’ll find many foods that YOU like, that are also heart healthy. It’s easier to implement a diet change if you’re eating foods that you prefer, so go do a few Google searches and find out what foods you like that also happen to be heart-healthy!
It’s also a great idea to have some sort of meal plan written out prior to the time you plan on eating. Whether it be a convenient little note on your phone or a great big whiteboard hanging up in your kitchen, write down a meal plan and you’ll be ten steps ahead in the race of keeping your diet heart-healthy.
Habit # 2
It seems that our old friend known as exercise is good for just about everything… and that’s for good reason.
Exercising frequently can improve factors linked to cardiovascular health, resulting in lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol levels and even improved blood sugar regulation.
Exercise provides a multitude of different benefits, like fortifying your immune system, preventing aging and building muscle… so besides just improving your cardiovascular health, you’ll also be helping yourself in those different ways too.
The best kind of exercise for heart-health is aerobic exercise, but if aerobics aren’t your things there’s also weight training regiments and even yoga, along with plenty of other options that can also greatly benefit your heart-health.
Some different aerobic exercises include walking. jogging, running and biking. Feel free to get creative in your exercise routine an_d mix it up though, maybe one day you could go biking on some trails at a new park with great scenery, or take a jog around your city, you never know what kind of cool things you’ll come across when you aren’t speeding around in a car!
So get out there and get active, you’ll thank yourself when you get older and people are constantly mistaking you for a 20 year old!
For some more ideas on great exercises to help your heart click here.
Manage your stress.
None of us like to be stressed out, being constantly stressed may even be worse than stepping on a lego with bare feet… that’s unprovable with facts though.
All jokes aside though, being stressed out all of the time is a major drain on your health. Along with the possible mental symptoms of stress such as depression, anxiety and low sex drive, there’s also the possibility of physical symptoms such as weight gain, constriced blood vessels and various different diseases…
So, yes managing your stress made this list of essential habits, I’d like nothing more than to be able to help you steer clear of the minefield that is stress, so you don’t have to deal with some of those less than ideal symptoms.
In order to help you manage your stress I’m going to give you some suggestions on tips, tricks and activities that may be fit for reducing your stress.
- Listen to relaxing music/sounds
- Keep a journal of your thoughts
- Learn to play an instrument
- Take a nature walk
- Practice gratitude
- Start a garden
Explore 71 more destressors in this list on outofstress.com,
I strongly encourage you to take up some activities that are great for de-stressing you, your heart will thank you, along with your mind.
I know mine does!
Live a longer and happier life with a healthy heart.
These are only three potential habits… there’s many more out there that can drastically affect the condition your heart is in when it comes to the later years in your life.
I challenge you to go out and find even more things that you can do, do your own research, maybe even develop your own habits that are finely tuned to YOU.
I believe in you, and I know you have what it takes to change your life for the better!
Here at Life’sGrape, we consider our customers to be family, and we hate to see our family struggle.
From heart disease to diabetes, we all have our own personal problems. I hope if there’s one thing you learned today though, YOU have the ability to enact a strong and powerful change in your life no vine-dried grapes matter what you’re dealing with.
You can choose to use the information I just handed you and start working those habits into your life, or you can walk away and wait as your heart slowly transforms into a ticking time bomb,,,
I know you’ll do what’s right though ya smartie!
We’d love to hear from you!
If you have any topics you’d like us to cover, a problem you have that we can try to solve or advice that would benefit you, feel free to email us at *Life’sGrape’s email*.
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