Your entire body, including your heart, brain and muscles, depends on healthy blood flow in order to keep you alive and feeling and performing at your best. This is why taking conscious steps to promote and maintain a healthy circulatory system is essential and becomes even more important as you age. Dr. Lori Mosca, a leading authority on heart disease prevention, recommends the following tips for getting a jumpstart on maintaining a healthy heart:
1. Exercise Regularly
Feeling more energetic and maintaining a healthy weight are important reasons to make exercising regularly one of your top priorities. Exercise not only helps burn pesky extra calories, it gives your circulatory system – including your heart – a workout and keeps muscles in good condition. Regular exercise also releases feel-good endorphins that help boost your mood and energy.
2. Get Enough Sleep
Getting sufficient, quality sleep can help reduce stress, positively impact your metabolism and improve your body’s overall function, thereby reducing the demands on your heart. Most doctors recommend 6-8 hours each night for adults.
To achieve the recommended amount of sleep, aim for a consistent bedtime each night. If necessary, create a routine that allows you to unwind, such as meditating or reading a book to clear your mind. Eliminate unnecessary light and noise, including leaving the TV or your cellphone on overnight. Avoid alcohol and stimulants such as caffeine before bedtime. If your partner’s snoring keeps you awake, have him or her get checked for common breathing and sleep disorders.
3. Dietary Patterns Matter
When taking aim at developing healthier habits, placing importance on the foods you use to fuel your body is key. Dietary guidelines from the American Heart Association recommend a healthy dietary pattern focused on nutrient-dense foods, such as a variety of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, nuts and skinless poultry and fish.
Another healthy option to consider adding to your diet is cocoa flavanols, which are the beneficial plant-based nutrients (phytonutrients) found naturally in cocoa that work with your body to maintain healthy levels of nitric oxide, which helps maintain the healthy flow of oxygen and nutrients to all parts of your body.
Numerous studies have demonstrated that cocoa flavanols promote healthy blood flow* – and supporting healthy blood flow is essential to helping you maintain who you are for years to come. One way to add cocoa flavanols to your routine is by incorporating a daily cocoa extract supplement, such as CocoaVia supplement, which delivers the highest concentration currently available in a cocoa extract supplement. Visit: CocoaVia.com for more information about cocoa flavanols and ways to add them to your daily routine.
4. Out with Bad Habits
Some of the most important steps you can take toward healthier living are the habits you stop. For example, both smoking and excessive alcohol consumption increase the risk of multiple health conditions. An important part of your heart health is avoiding smoking altogether or to begin taking steps to quit; and while you don’t have to give up alcohol entirely, consume it only in moderation.
By committing to keeping a regular sleep schedule, regular exercise, a balanced diet and ditching bad habits, you can help support not only your heart, but overall health.
Dr. Lori Mosca is a paid educational consultant for CocoaVia supplement and her statements do not imply promotion of any product(s).
*This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
Photo credit: Getty Images
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