Friday, November 25, 2011

Tips on Improving Heart Health

The heart is the hardest working muscle in the human body and every day it pumps about 2,000 gallons of blood. It never stops and is always working. Such a diligent muscle needs to be in the best condition it can be, and with a few changes in lifestyle, you and your heart can be feeling much better. Heart disease is one of the major killers of men and women in America, but most of the causes of heart attacks are preventable and are largely due to poor lifestyle and diet choices.

A build up of cholesterol and fat in the arteries is the main cause of heart disease and failure. This build up is known as plaque. Once built up to a certain level, the plaque can break open, causing blood clots to form. This can cause a complete blockage in the artery and stop oxygen rich blood from reaching the heart, resulting in heart failure.


Because the major cause of heart disease is the build up of cholesterol and fat in the arteries, this should be an indication that heart health and diet are directly related. Research has shown that a diet rich in olive oil, Omega-3, garlic, whole grains and fresh vegetable will significantly reduce heart complications. In fact it has been proven that people who consume a Mediterranean diet are at far less risk from heart disease.

Over-processed foods are a major dietary concern. When food is over-processed it looses the majority of the essential nutrients. Processed grains found in white bread, and the sugars present in soda and the sodium in fast food greatly increase the risk of heart complications. Not only is unprocessed food better for your heart, it tastes better as well.

Physical Activity

The heart is a muscle and like all muscles it needs to be exercised. When the heart is strengthened it will become more efficient at distributing the flow of blood around the body. The best exercise you can do for your heart is aerobic. This can include swimming, bicycling and walking.

If you are new to exercising, it is important that you take things gradually. The recommended daily amount of exercise is 20-30 minutes, 3-4 times per week. But do not feel that you need to do this amount straight away; the most important thing with exercise is consistency. Do what you can, but keep at it. Over time you will be able to go longer and do more.


If you smoke, your chances of heart disease are greatly increased. Smoking increases the chances of your arteries becoming clogged because the smoke damages the cells that line the blood vessels and heart. A year after you quit smoking, your chances of heart disease are cut in half and 15 years after stopping smoking, you are at the same risk as a non-smoker. If you want to quit, your heart health care provider can offer support and recommend programs that will improve your chances of success.


  1. Like what you are promoting here. Thanks for the effort!

    Dr Mitchel

  2. Most of our routine activities in the modern world do not allow us to take care of our hearts' health. I particularly am a victim because I don't even recall the last time I did aerobics or even thought about what I was eating. Anyway, thank you for this piece

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  7. I enjoyed reading this blog especially since I've become more heart conscience

  8. Thanks for the encouraging comments you left on my blog. I am pretty new to this and appreciate any feedback the I receive.

  9. Much of this information also applies to eye health and that's why I've nominated you for a Versatile Blogger award. Go to my website for more information.

  10. I was interested to read the blogs on your site but having had 3 attempts at contributing I’m giving it one last shot then giving up.
    I’ve come to the healthy food from the position of got into Pilates, through I’ve always been quite fit but found it harder to maintain the level of fitness that I require. The Pilates regime that developed for me consisted of a specific programme of stretches and exercises targeted to improve my general flexibility, posture and abdominal strength. This is proving successful and without all the grunting and groaning in the gym. The increased flexibility has enabled me to use my body more efficiently so I’m staying happily in shape without the gym. Good. has also introduced me to the idea that the mind controls the body and after being somewhat sceptical in the beginning I’m converted. I can relax more easily and also focus on what I need to do. Now happy with that side of things I’ve started to look at eating healthily, which is why your site was interesting. I make a lot of fruit smoothies, aiming for taste rather than anything else but rather haphazardly. Do you have any recipies which have specific health benefits? I use quite a bit of fresh ginger in these smoothies – it gives a nice spicy edge to them.

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  12. The healthy body / healthy mind message needs to be spread more widely. I'm currently in the Middle East where eating is like a national pastime, excerise consists of walking to the car and smoking seems to be compulsory. There are so many possibilities to get wound up during the day, with traffic, things always being delayed and the obstructionsthat the petty minded officials seem to enjoy putting in the way of progress and any sort of logic. I have something of an antidote to the traumas of living and working in the KSA which enable me to get through the day without exploding. I have a 30 minute Mypilates session in the morning. This controlled stretching/breathing/exercise/relaxation routine means that when I leave the apartment it's with a sense of welcome and looking for opportunities rather than foreboding about the drive. If any of you have been in Riyadh you'll understand just how fraught a 10 minute drive can be. Instead of fighting for every inch of roadspace I'm compassionate about allowing cars to push into the queues. I sing Beatles songs and think about my own space, which is a cave behind a waterfall. I can move along quite nicely and calmly, coccooned by these thoughts. I have similar sort of routine when I get home. It works for me. The other thing I've noticed since I started using the sort of ideas about mind control, (not brainwashing - but allowing your mind to really influence your body), is that I now have dreams. That might sound fairly normal but I used to remember dreams only extremely rarely but now, much more frequently, so something is certainly hapening since I've been doing the Mypilates programme. As it happens, I've escaped to the realtive sanity of Bahrain for a couple of days to chill out, so with the planned relaxation on top of the more laid back place I should be ready for anything when I get back.

    Try putting some nuts in smoothies. They are a good source of many of the minerals we need. I've discovered after a number of experiments that the amount of juice in a carrot is almost 20% more than the volume of the carrot itself. Try it at home and see.

  13. Leading a healthy heart requires the incorporation of many healthy habits, including regular physical activity and regular healthy snack/meal choices.
    Krisha | cardiology emr

  14. When food is over-processed it looses the majority of the essential nutrients. Have a good day!

  15. Where oh where are you? Either that or I'm messing up but it looks like you haven't posted in months. I had bookmarked your blog so I could check back from time to time.

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