Your heart works hard and is the battery of your life, so it’s essential to take care of it. Deciding on a heart-healthy lifestyle is crucial, and you’re never too young to start.

Adapting small changes can lead to significant improvements. In this article, we’ll cover ten things that you can do to look after your heart.

Quit Smoking
If you’re a cigarette smoker, now is the best time to quit. Smoking is one of the leading causes of coronary heart disease. Nicotine stresses the blood vessels, and other chemicals in cigarettes take the ‘good cholesterol’ from your blood. Smoking also makes your blood more likely to clot.

According to the American Heart Association, quitting smoking can help your body within just minutes. Only twenty minutes after your last cigarette, your heart rate and blood pressure will return to normal. Within twelve hours, the amount of carbon monoxide will drop to a normal level.

Within a period of two weeks to three months, your blood flow will get better. One year after quitting, your risk of heart disease is half of that of someone who is still a smoker.

Get Moving
Having an active lifestyle is an excellent way to reduce your risk of developing heart disease, not to mention improve your overall health. Get moving for at least 30 minutes a day. Do cardio and get your blood pumping. Walk, swim, bike, and change it up every once in awhile, so you don’t get bored and become sedentary.

Weight Management
Being overweight also increases your risk of heart disease. If you’re currently struggling with your weight, try by making healthier choices when it comes to nutrition, and begin exercising regularly if you can.

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Reduce Stress
Anxiety and depression can lead to a vicious cycle and an unhealthy lifestyle. Stress puts a strain on the whole body, but especially the heart. Try practicing relaxation techniques like meditation and yoga to help reduce your stress level. If it doesn’t help, try reaching out to a professional who can help you cope and take better care of yourself.

Visit the Doc
If you have heart disease, or you’re at a particularly high risk of developing it, it’s recommended that you see your doctor regularly. Make sure that you ask all the necessary questions and identify any significant concerns.

Get Enough Sleep
Sleep is essential to a healthy heart. Regardless of age, people who don’t get enough shuteye are at a higher risk of developing coronary heart disease. The magic number of hours you should get per night is 7, not much more or less.

Researchers understand that sleeping too little can cause disruptions in normal biological processes such as glucose metabolism, inflammation, and blood pressure.

The connection between the cardiovascular system and sleep shouldn’t just be for older adults. Even adolescents are at higher risk of heart problems if they don’t get enough sleep.

Drink Less
Heavy alcohol consumption raises your blood pressure and can lead to diseases of the heart muscle called cardiomyopathy. Binge drinking doesn’t only affect your heart, but it also leads to problems like cancer, liver disease, and peptic ulcers.

Eat Your Veggies
Fruits, veggies, and lean protein should be at the core of your diet. Ditch the frozen dinners, fast-food, and other meals that are high in salt, fat, and sugars. Try drinking sparkling water instead of soda; your blood sugar levels will thank you.

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Know Your Risks
If you have any cardiac conditions such as bigeminy trigeminy, high blood pressure, etc., you should make sure that you have a clear understanding of what that means for your lifestyle and your future. By having a firm grasp on your unique situations, you can make decisions and adopt healthy habits that are best for you.

Control Your Blood Pressure
Make sure you and your physician stay on top of your blood pressure. Typically, people should aim for a bp of 120/80. If you have high blood pressure, make sure you learn how to check it routinely at home. The higher it is, the harder your heart muscle will have to work.

The Verdict
Heart disease is the number one killer of American men and women. Luckily, many of these deaths can be prevented if individuals take the proper precautions throughout their life. Adopt these ten habits for improved heart and overall health.