April 7, 2017, is World Health Day, but, as Americans, we should be aware of our heart health every day. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. At ReactDx, we engineer state-of-the-art ECG monitors that record a more complete picture of your heart’s activity than any other wearable cardiac monitor on the market. The information your doctor receives via your ReactDx monitor can help determine how healthy your heart is and whether you need follow-up care. Below are a few proven methods of improving your heart’s health that you can begin today.
Even a simple change such as walking to the park instead of driving the car can make a significant difference in the long run. If your physician okays an exercise plan for you, add walking, biking, swimming, or gardening to your daily routine. Half an hour of exercise every day not only strengthens your heart; it makes you feel great! The hormones released as you exercise give you a better outlook on life, and that positive feeling has been proven to help you live longer. Exercise helps you lose weight and keep it off, which is another heart bonus.
- Less Salt
As a whole, Americans love to add salt to everything. Unfortunately, salt has a negative impact on your heart and causes your body to hold onto excess water. An excess of salt is also a key player in artery disease and hypertension (high blood pressure). Keep in mind that almost every packaged food in the grocery store contains more salt than you need in your diet, so adding salt to packaged pasta, for instance, can double your salt intake. Eating more fresh foods will definitely lower your salt intake faster than removing the salt shaker from the dinner table.
- Replace Your Butter
Think of a bar of butter, a tub of margarine, and a bottle of olive oil. Which one have you heard is best for you? Hopefully olive oil! This is because of the chemical makeup of the molecules inside the oil. Olive oil flows at room temperature while margarine is spreadable and butter is a solid. The more solid the fat, the worse it is for you. When you have a choice of sautéing in butter or in olive oil, choose olive oil every time.
Have you heard that music has a calming effect on people? It’s true; listening to music, especially music with a soothing melody, lowers the blood pressure. This is the reason babies respond to lullabies by nodding off; a beat slower than your heart rate will calm you. On the other hand, music with a faster beat will heighten your senses, your heart rate, and your blood pressure – good for a workout, but not if you are ready for bed!
While some of these changes may seem simple – such as listening to music – others are more difficult. Work slowly toward your goal and a healthier heart. Call ReactDx at 800-234-3278 to ask about our ECG monitors and read our Heart Health News page for information on heart health and our line of portable heart monitors.