We are only privileged enough to have one life, and in that life, you might only use the one heart that you have to live it. We need many things to have a life that feels full, and one of the most important things that we need to be alive is a beating heart. Everywhere you look when it comes to health advice tells you that your heart is the most important thing that you could look after. It’s the driving force behind your body and it’s going to keep you breathing, moving and living the life that you want.
The problem is that too many of us don’t do enough to look after that heart. You might consider how long you can live with a heart transplant if you haven’t been looking after your heart properly, but it’s not something anyone plans for. If you don’t take care of your heart, you could be staring down the barrel of the UNOS list in no time at all. Where possible, you must do all that you can to look after the heart that you have. With this in mind, here are some of the best tips you need to keep your heart healthy.
- Look after your teeth. Believe it or not, much of heart health comes from oral hygiene. Your gums and teeth are important to keep healthy, but more than that, their health will determine the health of your heart. There is plenty of research to show that gums that are loaded with bacteria can have an impact on your heart. The bacteria can travel through the bloodstream and cause systemic inflammation, which is the very center of heart disease. Seeing a dentist and properly brushing your teeth is the way around that.
- Get yourself a pet. You might not consider how a dog can help your heart, but it’s not so much the dog as it is the walks you’re going to be doing because of the new dog. Not only that, but your new pooch is going to make you feel happier, which will help your stress levels and your heart in the long run. When you have a dog, you’re out moving more, and you’re also less likely to smoke and deal with the risks of stroke. The research shows that you are also less likely to have high blood pressure because you’re out more and are logging a bigger number of steps.
- Get some sleep. When you suffer from sleep deprivation, your heart is going to suffer, too. Poor sleep correlates with obesity, and it also correlates with unhealthy diet choices. You’ll eat more sugar to get the energy hit that you need, and this can then elevate your risk of high cholesterol and high blood pressure. The last thing that you need is a heart attack because you didn’t get enough sleep. When you adhere to a circadian rhythm that is more natural, you’re going to feel more energized, better in yourself and you won’t be twice as likely to develop heart disease.
- Have fun. When we laugh, we reduce our stress. When it comes to maintaining a healthier heart, we need to laugh. It’s associated with better vascular function and lower blood pressure, and there are studies out there that can show you the benefits of laughter on the increase of good cholesterol. Your stress levels must be managed when it comes to the health of your heart, and laughing can help you with that.
- Where possible, avoid air pollution. We can’t always avoid it, but air pollution can cause damage to your heart over time. Breathing in the tiny particles of polluted air can raise the risk of clots in the heart and cause inflammation in the vessels of your blood, too.
- Have a bath. Did you know that research has concluded that around 30,000 people found that a daily hot bath lowers the risk of heart disease and stroke? It was published in 2020, and relaxing in the bath can lower your risk of disease promoting stress. It can also do more than relax you!
Usually, we get one heart to look after. Some people who are truly ill end with a heart transplant, where a donor heart is reconnected into the body to assist them with living a longer, healthy life. It’s amazing what science can do for us today, but the best course of action is to keep your current heart as healthy as possible for as long as possible.