It’s never too early or late to aim towards a healthy heart. Oftentimes, once we use a car for several months, we grow concerned about its routine maintenance, checks, and replacements subconsciously. Since the heart is inconspicuous to our eyes, we often fail or forget to accord the care and priority it duly deserves. The human heart starts beating from the wombs even before we are born. Automobiles do, but the heart has no mileage. Its mechanical warfare and performance in one’s lifetime depend largely on your physiological regimen, habits, diets, and even physiotherapy.
Scientific evidence has long established a natural relationship between the aging and decline in heat performance. Consequently, it is needless to state why heart problem symptoms and ailments such as stroke, high blood pressure, heart attack, and coronary artery disease are most common among the elderly. In 2001, researchers evaluated the maximum heart rate per minute by age for 208 healthy nonsmokers. The result recorded a 194 heartbeat score for persons aged 20; however, participants aged 30 scored 187 heartbeats per minute while their 40-year-olds counterparts recorded a score of 180. The experiment continuously showed the decline with age as 60-year-olds recorded 166 heartbeats per minute while 90-year-olds scored a total of 145 heartbeats (1).
Healthy Heart For Every Age
The pride of youthfulness lies in its strength, stamina, and resilience. Unfortunately, youth meets its end at the latter phases of adulthood where the walls of heart arteries and arterioles grow thicker, and the space within the arteries become less elastic. Since arteries and arterioles slightly expand as people age, they cannot relax as quickly during the rhythmic pumping of the heart, thus making it hard for the heart to handle sharp changes in blood pressure.
From the foregoing illustration, it is evidently clear why everyone, especially the middle-aged and elderly, should care more about their heart. Here is the goodness; following specific diets and habits cushion the effects of aging on the cardiovascular system. Exercise, for instance, helps people maintain cardiovascular fitness as well as muscular fitness as they age. Here are six quick tips to follow if you want to keep a healthy heart.
1. Stay Physically Active: Try as much to avoid a sedentary lifestyle. As you exercise, do not only build your muscles for strength but also promote your cardiovascular by improving stamina. Exercise will always be a beautiful part of life because of its inherent flexibility –depending on what suits you, exercise could be fun, serious business, or a moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity. However, you must always make exercise a routine and commit to it. You could try swimming regularly or long hikes of at least 150 minutes. For faster results, employ vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity such as jogging and running to feel the best performance of your cardiovascular.
2. Take Regular Wellness Exams: Sometimes, you could be asymptomatic to certain early-stage heart disease. To stay safe, always have a doctor check your blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol, heart rate, and body mass. Keeping these records under supervision puts you at a lower risk of abrupt heart-problem symptoms.
3. Stop Smoking and Avoid Secondhand Smoke: Smoking weakens the blood vessels leading to your heart, brain, and other parts of your body. This is why regular smokers are more susceptible to a heart attack or stroke and sudden cardiac death. Quitting smoking isn’t always easy; nevertheless, keep trying and reach out for support. Secondhand smoke is also as harmful as smoking itself because certain chemicals emitted from cigarette and industrial smoke promote the development of plaque buildup in the arteries.
4. Try to Reduce Stress: Stress stimulates an increase in heart rate and blood pressure that may damage the artery walls. Consequently, sleep at least 6 hours per day. Skimping sleep disputes body biological processes and often result in high blood pressure and inflammation.
5. Consume a Healthy Heart Diet: First and foremost, avoid trans-fat as much as possible. Trans-fats are industry-produced fats that block your arteries and increases your bad cholesterol levels. Only purchase products with zero percent trans-fat. So, stay vigilant and always read the labels of packaged baked goods for harmful ingredients such as hydrogenated oils.
Secondly, focus your diet on heart-healthy nutrients. Omega-3 fatty acids are a good example. These polyunsaturated fatty acids support cognitive, joint, cell, and heart function. Omega-3 fatty acids can also be found in Fatty fish such as sardines. Taking fish oil capsules is also an efficient way of supplementing your intake of Omega-3 fatty acids (2).
Folic acid is another healthy heart nutrient mostly found in dark, leafy greens and citrus fruits. Researchers opt that increasing consumption of folate and vitamin B12 decreases homocysteine levels in the blood –which in turn improves cardiovascular health (3).
Another important heart-healthy nutrient is an essential antioxidant called Coenzyme Q10. It helps cardiovascular health by encouraging healthy cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood sugar levels (4).
6. Study your Medical Ancestry: Do not be caught unaware. Probe repeated cases of heart disease in your family tree. Once you discover you could be genetically prone, you must take exercise, diet, and all other prescribed precautions more seriously. Also, report to your doctor once you experience any likely heart-problem symptom.
1. “Age-predicted maximal heart rate revisited”. al, H. Tanaka H et. pages 153-156., s.l. : Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 2001, Vol. Vol. 37.
2. Center, University of Maryland Medical. Omega-3 fatty acids. .
3. Institute, Linus Pauling. Folate. Oregon State University,.
4. Coenzyme Q10. University of Maryland Medical Center.