The heart is one of the most important parts of the body. It is an organ but is considered to be a muscular organ because not only is it comprised of different types of tissues and cells; it is also largely made of a type of muscle tissue called the cardiac muscle.
The heart’s primary function is to pump blood throughout the body. This blood supplies oxygen and nutrients to the tissues throughout the body and removes carbon dioxide and other waste.
Sometimes, the heart is not strong to do what it needs to, but there are ways to strengthen it.
Can You Strengthen Your Heart?
Heart disease is one of the top causes of death worldwide. But many of the factors that contribute to heart disease are preventable. What you need to do to strengthen your heart is to manage risk factors and change your lifestyle with these tips (1).
The heart is a muscle and like all muscles, it needs exercise to strengthen it. There are so many options to choose from and we will explore that more later on.
Smoking increases your heart rate, tightens arteries, and can make your heart beat irregularly meaning your heart works harder.
Eat Healthy Foods
This includes whole foods, not processed junk. Make sure to include lots of fruits and vegetables and only lean cuts of meat.
Excess weight can lead to high blood pressure, high cholesterol and high blood sugar, all of which are bad for the heart.
Eat In Moderation
Overeating causes the blood to shift from the heart to the digestive system which is taxing on the heart. It can also lead to faster and irregular heart rhythms which can lead to a heart attack or heart failure.
Stress causes a rise in blood pressure and makes the heart beat faster. So it’s important to find some coping methods to deal with the stress in your life.
How To Improve Heart Health
Some vitamins and minerals actually work to keep the heart healthy. Here are the top ones to consider.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
This helps the heart to function properly. It can be difficult to get enough through diet alone.
This vitamin can help regulate blood pressure. The body produces vitamin D and sunlight helps, but many people don’t get enough of this vitamin daily.
Magnesium deficiency has been linked to higher blood pressure. It is found in dark green vegetables, nuts and whole grains, but if you don’t eat enough of those, you may need a supplement.
It’s actually an enzyme, but it has been shown to improve heart failure symptoms and may reduce blood pressure.
This helps to regulate the amount of homocysteine, which is an amino acid associated with a possible risk for blood clots.
Potassium can regulate blood pressure. There is more potassium in a potato than a banana, both popular choices to eat.
How Do You Strengthen A Weak Heart With Exercise?
Being physically active helps strengthen the heart and keep weight under control. There are three main forms of exercise with aerobic and resistance training being the most important for heart health. Let’s look more closely at each of them.
This includes walking, running, swimming, cycling. Basically anything that gets the heart pumping. Ideally it’s important to strive for at least 30 minutes a day, five days a week.
Aerobic exercise improves circulation resulting in lower blood pressure. It also helps how well your heart pumps.
This includes weight lifting, push-ups, squats and chin-ups. At least two nonconsecutive days a week is recommended.
Resistance training helps reduce fat and create leaner muscle. In combination with aerobic exercise, it can help raise the good cholesterol (HDL) while lowering bad (LDL) cholesterol.
This includes balancing and flexibility as well. Tai Chi and yoga are good examples to try. It benefits musculoskeletal health which can help joint pain and allows people to maintain aerobic exercise and resistance training. It’s important to stretch before doing any sort of other exercise.
Some forms like Tai Chi and yoga have the extra bonus of reducing stress which can benefit the heart.
Can A Multivitamin Help Strengthen Your Heart?
Multivitamins are a popular choice to take in order to fill in the gaps of what people may be missing through diet alone. Studies suggest taking vitamins and mineral supplements may help prevent heart disease.
Taking a vitamin cannot replace eating healthy, but even people who eat healthy foods may not always get all the nutrients they need. So a multivitamin may help fill in those gaps.
How Long Does It Take To Strengthen Your Heart With Heart Disease?
Prevention is key, but it’s still possible to strengthen your heart even if you’ve been diagnosed with some form of heart disease. With exercise, it’s important to keep at it for continual benefits. You can’t just exercise for a week and expect your heart to be better.
It can typically take about one to three months of regular exercise for it to have an impact on blood pressure. Making healthy choices today can help you live longer.
Supplements Can Help
When considering ways to improve your health and increase longevity, it’s important to consider certain supplements.
We are born with blood polyamines that assist our body with cellular growth. Overtime, our blood polyamine levels decrease along with cellular growth and renewal. Old, damaged cells lead to diseases. While we can get polyamines through diet, we rarely eat enough to replenish what our body needs especially as we age.
Spermidine is one such polyamine which should be a part of your daily diet. Spermidine assists the body’s natural autophagy process in which old, damaged parts of the cell are recycled, leading to healthier cells. Having a sufficient level of polyamines may help the cellular renewal needed to live a long and healthy life.
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