Heart disease is a leading cause of death, but it’s not inevitable. While you can’t change some risk factors — such
as family history, sex or age — there are plenty of ways you can reduce your risk of heart disease, with experts of real money casinos having curated this article for you.
Get started with these seven tips for boosting your heart health, courtesy of online casino gaming:
1. Don’t smoke or use tobacco
One of the best things you can do for your heart is to stop smoking or using smokeless tobacco. Even if you’re not a smoker, be sure to avoid secondhand smoke. Chemicals in tobacco can damage the heart and blood vessels. Cigarette smoke reduces the oxygen in the blood, which increases blood pressure and heart rate because the heart has to work harder to supply enough oxygen to the body and brain.
2. Get moving: Aim for at least 30 to 60 minutes of activity daily
Regular, daily physical activity can lower the risk of heart disease. Physical activity helps control your weight. It also reduces the chances of developing other conditions that may put a strain on the heart, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and type 2 diabetes. Even shorter bouts of activity offer heart benefits, so if you can’t meet those guidelines, don’t give up. Just five minutes of moving can help, and activities such as gardening, housekeeping, taking the stairs and walking the dog all count toward your total. You don’t have to exercise strenuously to achieve benefits, but you can see bigger benefits by increasing the intensity, duration and frequency of your workouts.
3. Eat a heart-healthy diet
A healthy diet can help protect the heart, improve blood pressure and cholesterol, and reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. A heart-healthy eating plan includes:
Vegetables and fruits
Beans or other legumes
Lean meats and fish
Low-fat or fat-free dairy foods
Healthy fats, such as olive oil
4. Maintain a healthy weight
Being overweight — especially around the middle of the body — increases the risk of heart disease. Excess weight can lead to conditions that increase the chances of developing heart disease — including high blood pressure, high cholesterol and type 2 diabetes. The body mass index (BMI) uses height and weight to determine whether a person is overweight or obese. A BMI of 25 or higher is considered overweight and is generally associated with higher cholesterol, higher blood pressure, and an increased risk of heart disease and stroke.
5. Get good quality sleep
People who don’t get enough sleep have a higher risk of obesity, high blood pressure, heart attack, diabetes and depression. Most adults need at least seven hours of sleep each night. Make sleep a priority in your life. Set a sleep schedule and stick to it by going to bed and waking up at the same times each day. Keep your bedroom dark and quiet, so it’s easier to sleep.
It’s never too late to think about starting up an exercise routine. One study shows that middle-aged men and women who weren’t fit could still reduce their odds of heart failure if they took steps to improve their fitness. Check with your doctor before you get started. Try for at least 2 1/2 hours a week of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise — the kind that gets your heart pumping. If you prefer, you can do 1 1/4 hours of more intense activity.
7. Don’t just sit there
Even if you do exercise, especially if you’re a man, your risk for heart failure may go up if you sit around a lot. In one study, men who sat for 5 hours or more a day outside of work, even those who exercised, were more likely to get heart failure than those who limited their couch potato time to 2 hours or less. So look for ways to keep yourself moving the next time you’re about to reach for the TV remote.