How do I Maintain a Healthy Heart?

Kasey James

Three important keys to maintain a healthy heart are eating healthy foods, exercising and managing stress. Having a healthy heart can help to prevent heart attacks and other cardiovascular health issues. Incorporating these healthy strategies into your life may give you good cardiac health.

Eating enough fruits is important to maintaining a healthy heart.
Eating enough fruits is important to maintaining a healthy heart.

Eating healthy is the first step in having a healthy heart. Heart-healthy foods are usually the same as whole or natural foods. These foods include fruits, vegetables and lean meats. Fish can be beneficial to the heart as well. Whole grains should also be incorporated into a heart-healthy diet. Eating these foods should be a permanent lifestyle change, not a temporary solution.

Eating healthy foods -- and skipping the junk food -- may improve a person's coronary risk.
Eating healthy foods -- and skipping the junk food -- may improve a person's coronary risk.

Eating the right foods is important, but it is just as important to eat the right amount of food. Portion sizes are usually measured and marked on food packaging. Whole foods that are not marked should be eaten in moderation. Your physician can discuss portions and daily calorie intake, as each person has different dietary needs.

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A regular exercise routine is important for heart health.
A regular exercise routine is important for heart health.

Exercising is just as important as eating healthy to maintain a healthy heart. Cardio exercise can be the most beneficial for a healthy heart. Moderate exercise should be done several days out of the week and at least 30 to 60 minutes per session. You should get your doctor's approval before starting any new exercise regimen.

Maintaining a healthy weight can help avoid heart-related health problems in the future.
Maintaining a healthy weight can help avoid heart-related health problems in the future.

Exercises for a healthy heart can include going to a gym and using the machines or finding ways to be active at home. Walking is one of the best exercises and can be done anywhere. Working out with a partner will also help in maintaining your exercise on a regular basis.

Not smoking can help keep the heart healthy.
Not smoking can help keep the heart healthy.

Moderate exercise comes with many benefits. It may lower blood pressure and strengthen your cardiovascular system. Exercise can also help to maintain an ideal weight. Maintaining a healthy weight will also help to reduce the risks of heart failure.

Healthy circulation throughout the body is key in maintaining a healthy heart.
Healthy circulation throughout the body is key in maintaining a healthy heart.

Stress, anxiety or depression can all contribute to heart disease. To maintain a healthy heart, you should avoid smoking tobacco products or drinking alcohol. These habits can often feel like they lower stress, but they actually increase the risk of heart failure.

Fruits and vegetables are an important part of eating healthy.
Fruits and vegetables are an important part of eating healthy.

There are healthy ways to manage stress. Healthy eating and exercise will help to cope with daily stress. Meditation can also be relaxing and aid in stress management. If you are experiencing extreme stress, anxiety or depression, you should consult your physician for possible therapeutic solutions. Reducing stress can help to prevent heart failure.

Meditation can be relaxing and aid in stress relief, which can prevent heart disease.
Meditation can be relaxing and aid in stress relief, which can prevent heart disease.
A heart-healthy diet should include several servings of fiber-rich grains and fruits daily.
A heart-healthy diet should include several servings of fiber-rich grains and fruits daily.
The anatomy of a heart attack.
The anatomy of a heart attack.

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Discussion Comments

turquoise

I eat fish and walnuts regularly, and I take heart healthy supplements. I think this is why I don't have any heart problems at 65. A part of it is genetic, but food also has a lot to do with it.

SteamLouis

@anamur-- I agree with you, it can get confusing. I think the type of exercise you should do depends mostly on your general health. If you are fit and at a regular weight, you can certainly do more challenging exercises without straining your heart. Those who are just starting to exercise and are overweight have to take it easier because their heart has to work harder.

I think aerobic exercises like swimming, jogging and dancing are the best for the heart because they increase blood circulation. But if you have health issues like high blood pressure, do keep that in mind.

I have high blood pressure and I can't jog because my heart rate increases too rapidly. But I walk for half an hour every day and in the summer, I swim everyday. I think I have a healthy heart.

serenesurface

I'm confused about how much I should exercise for my heart health. Some people say that in order to keep the heart at its optimum functioning capacity, it's necessary to do some cardio exercises that require effort. Others say that cardio exercises put too much strain on the heart and that something like brisk walking is much better.

I already eat heart healthy meals with lots of veggies, fruits and almost no saturated fats. But I want to make sure I'm doing things right on the exercise side as well.

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