Mindset

How to Live a Heart-Healthy Lifestyle

Your heart pumps blood throughout the body, carrying oxygen and nutrients to your brain and other organs so they can perform optimally. 

When something blocks that flow, your heart can’t efficiently pump blood. Your body initially has ways to compensate for this heart failure. Over time, the heart can no longer keep up with the body’s demands to pump blood.1

Heart failure can stem from heart disease, the leading cause of death in America. Heart disease often occurs when your blood vessels become narrowed or blocked.2 Eventually, heart disease can create problems such as chest pain, a heart attack, or stroke.3 

One way to reduce your risk of heart disease is to monitor blood pressure. How you eat, the way you move, and the nutrients you take can all help normalize your blood pressure. 

Research shows magnesium, for instance, can lower blood pressure.4 About 50 percent of people don’t get enough of this mineral from food5, making a supplement ideal. 

When your blood pressure becomes too high, it can increase the heart’s demands. Blood vessels can narrow and blood flow to the heart can slow down or stop.6

This is called coronary heart disease or coronary artery disease, the most common type of heart disease. 

With this condition, arteries that carry blood to your heart narrow or get blocked by plaque buildup within the arteries. Smoking, high blood pressure, and too much sugar can all contribute to this plaque buildup.7

Plaque can block arteries, making blood flow to the heart difficult and contributing to chest pain or a heart attack.8

Determining Your Risk of Heart Disease

Some common signs of a heart attack include9:

  • Pain or discomfort in specific areas, such as the center or left side of the chest or  in the upper body 
  • Shortness of breath or trouble breathing 
  • Feeling sick to your stomach, nausea, stomach ache, and heartburn 
  • Feeling dizzy, light-headed, tired, or breaking out in a cold sweat

Not everyone will display all of these signs. When you experience them can also differ. 

If you recognize any signs or symptoms or suspect you may be having a heart attack, immediately call 911 for an ambulance. Emergency medical technicians can begin treatment to save your life right away.10

While heart attacks usually come on suddenly, they might also occur days or weeks before the heart attack occurs. The signs and symptoms might be different too if you’ve subsequently suffered a heart attack.11 

Some people have a greater risk of heart disease, including those who:12

  • Have high cholesterol or high blood pressure 
  • Smoke
  • Are overweight or obese 
  • Don’t get enough physical activity
  • Don’t eat a healthy diet 
  • Have diabetes
  • Are over 55 (for women) or over 45 (for men)
  • Have a family history

You can’t control your genetics or your age. If someone in your family had heart problems, you’re more likely to. 

The good news is that many other variables are completely within your control to support a healthy heart. In fact, you can prevent about 80 percent of all heart-related problems, including heart disease, heart attack, heart failure, and stroke.13

To do that and maintain a healthy heart, you’ll want to reduce the risk factors that contribute to heart disease, including high blood pressure and inflammation. Fortunately, you have a lot of control with the right dietary and lifestyle factors.14 

You Can Have a Healthy Heart At Any Age

Your needs and requirements for a healthy heart can change over time. Work closely with your healthcare practitioner to identify any warning signs. 

High blood pressure and cholesterol levels, for instance, provide early warning signs for heart disease and heart attack. 

Your healthcare practitioner can track these and other problems with regular blood work. Some, like high blood pressure, provide no signs or symptoms. Be proactive and check yours regularly at your local grocery store or pharmacy.15

Along with regular checkups, what you do on a daily basis best ensures a healthy heart free of disease. Staying fit and lean is your best strategy to reduce your risk for many conditions that lead to heart disease.16

You can support a healthy heart in your 40s, 50s, and beyond with these 10 strategies. 

1. Eat heart-supporting foods. What you eat creates a powerful foundation to keep your heart healthy. Our Advanced Plan makes an ideal way to manage inflammation, blood pressure, and other factors that support a healthy heart. Among the foods you’ll find in this plan include:

  • Green vegetables. One review of eight studies found those who ate leafy greens lowered their heart disease risk an impressive 16 percent.17
  • Berries provide antioxidants that protect against factors such as inflammation that contribute to heart disease.18
  • Healthy plant fats like avocados provide nutrients including dietary fiber and potassium to support heart health.19
  • The healthy fatty acids in wild-caught, cold-water fish can help lower fasting blood sugar, blood pressure, and factors that can lower your risk of heart disease.20

2. Find your healthy weight and maintain it. If you’re overweight or obese, you have a higher risk of health problems including heart disease, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes. Losing just 10 pounds can improve those conditions and lower your risk of heart disease.21 Our Advanced Plan makes the ideal heart-healthy way to get and stay lean.

3. Get sufficient sleep. Not getting enough sleep can contribute to risk factors such as stress, inflammation, high blood pressure, and gaining weight that can take their toll on your heart.22 Talk to your healthcare practitioner about any concerning sleep issues. Aim for at least seven but more like eight or nine hours of quality, uninterrupted sleep every night. Take a supplement if you have trouble falling or staying asleep.

4. Kick the habit and watch the alcohol. If you smoke, stop. Seek professional help if you need it. If you drink, limit alcoholic drinks to one (for women) or two (for men) daily.23 While red wine carries a “heart-healthy” image, too much can have the opposite effect.24

5. Maintain oral hygiene. Taking care of your teeth can impact your heart. People with periodontal or gum disease oftentimes carry the same risk factors for heart disease. That’s because gum disease can move into your bloodstream and increase the inflammation that can contribute to heart disease.25 Brush and floss your teeth regularly. Schedule regular dental checkups, and discuss any specific concerns with your oral healthcare practitioner.

6. Keep stress levels in check. If you’ve felt stressed out and noticed your heart beating irregularly, you know how stress can impact your heart. Chronic stress can play a role in heart disease, depression, high blood pressure, and more.26 You can’t eliminate stress, but you can reduce its impact by learning to better manage it when it occurs. Deep breathing, mindfulness, and meditation are some of those ways to reduce stress’s impact on your heart and overall health.

7. Cultivate gratitude. Your mindset impacts your heart and so much more. Keeping a gratitude journal for just two weeks can improve sleep and blood pressure27, both of which support a healthy heart. How you express gratitude is up to you. That might mean a phone call, keeping a journal, or texting three things you’re grateful for every morning to your gratitude partner.

8. Move regularly. You need at least two hours and 30 minutes of moderate movement weekly. That’s 30 minutes, five times a week. Make it fun! Brisk walking, dancing, and biking are all great exercises. If you’re a newbie, start slowly with 10 minutes of walking a few days every week.28 Consider stepping up movement with our MaxT3 plan, which provides a full-body workout in just 12 minutes a day.

9. Sit less. Most of us sit a lot: At our desks, watching TV, and doing online research. Being sedentary too long can impact your heart and overall health.29 Set reminders if you need them to get up more often so you increase blood circulation. Stretch, do some yoga poses, or stroll over to your coworker’s desk. Your heart will thank you!

10. Get the right nutrients. Even with the healthiest diet, you might not be getting therapeutic amounts of certain nutrients to support heart health. That’s why we designed our Cardiovascular Wellness Bundle with the highest-quality nutrients in the correct doses that absorb well. The MaxLiving Cardiovascular Wellness Bundle is specifically designed for anyone looking to support optimal heart health. These supplements work synergistically to help improve circulation and blood flow, reduce inflammation, and boost energy so your whole body can run more efficiently.

When you live a heart-healthy lifestyle, you benefit in numerous ways that go beyond heart health. You have more energy and focus, you maintain stellar health, you feel confident, and you naturally reach your ideal weight. 

You have the power to make those changes that support a healthy heart and healthy body at any age. What you eat, how you move, and the nutrients you take can create a strong foundation to keep your heart beating healthily and reduce your risk of heart disease. 

Resources:

  1. https://www.uofmhealth.org/health-library/aa86963
  2. https://medlineplus.gov/howtopreventheartdisease.html
  3. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/heart-disease/symptoms-causes/syc-20353118
  4. https://www.livescience.com/55355-magnesium-blood-pressure.html
  5. https://www.webmd.com/diet/ss/slideshow-diet-magnesium
  6. https://www.healthline.com/health/hypertensive-heart-disease
  7. https://healthfinder.gov/healthtopics/category/health-conditions-and-diseases/heart-health/keep-your-heart-healthy
  8. https://healthfinder.gov/healthtopics/category/health-conditions-and-diseases/heart-health/keep-your-heart-healthy
  9. https://healthfinder.gov/healthtopics/category/health-conditions-and-diseases/heart-health/keep-your-heart-healthy
  10. https://healthfinder.gov/healthtopics/category/health-conditions-and-diseases/heart-health/keep-your-heart-healthy
  11. https://healthfinder.gov/healthtopics/category/health-conditions-and-diseases/heart-health/keep-your-heart-healthy
  12. https://healthfinder.gov/healthtopics/category/health-conditions-and-diseases/heart-health/keep-your-heart-healthy
  13. https://www.health.harvard.edu/heart-health/four-keys-to-prevent-cardiovascular-disease
  14. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/heart-failure/symptoms-causes/syc-20373142
  15. https://healthfinder.gov/healthtopics/category/health-conditions-and-diseases/heart-health/keep-your-heart-healthy
  16. https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-lifestyle/prevent-heart-disease-and-stroke
  17. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4973479/
  18. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17533652
  19. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/heart-healthy-foods#section4
  20. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/heart-healthy-foods#section5
  21. https://healthfinder.gov/healthtopics/category/health-conditions-and-diseases/heart-health/keep-your-heart-healthy
  22. https://www.health.harvard.edu/heart-health/four-keys-to-prevent-cardiovascular-disease
  23. https://healthfinder.gov/healthtopics/category/health-conditions-and-diseases/heart-health/keep-your-heart-healthy
  24. https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/is-red-wine-good-actually-for-your-heart-2018021913285
  25. https://health.clevelandclinic.org/5-things-to-do-every-day-to-keep-your-heart-healthy/
  26. https://healthfinder.gov/healthtopics/category/health-conditions-and-diseases/heart-health/keep-your-heart-healthy
  27. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25736389
  28. https://healthfinder.gov/healthtopics/category/health-conditions-and-diseases/heart-health/keep-your-heart-healthy
  29. https://health.clevelandclinic.org/5-things-to-do-every-day-to-keep-your-heart-healthy/