5 Everyday ways to boost your heart health

February is American Heart Month and we’re gearing you up to start tuning into your heart health and make a lifelong commitment to keeping your ticker in top shape. Research shows that a plant-based diet can reduce the risk of heart disease, but even as a vegan, there are other ways you can boost your heart health — and you may already be doing them. Here are five everyday ways to improve the health of your heart.
February is American Heart Month and we’re gearing you up to start tuning into your heart health and make a lifelong commitment to keeping your ticker in top shape. Research shows that a plant-based diet can reduce the risk of heart disease, but even as a vegan, there are other ways you can boost your heart health — and you may already be doing them. Here are five everyday ways to improve the health of your heart.

5 Ways to improve your heart health

1. Eat for your heart health

As a vegan, your diet is already inherently good for your heart, chockfull of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and heart-healthy fats. However, if you prefer French fries to baked potatoes, vegan chocolate cake to fruit-based desserts, or you’re overdrinking that vegan wine in the evening, you’re setting yourself up for heart problems. Evaluate your vegan diet and make sure you’re eating healthy balanced meals every day. Go for high-fiber foods and healthy fats, such as those found in flax, avocados,  and olive oil, and reduce your intake of highly sweetened or sodium-laden treats.

>>5 Heart-healthy vegan foods

2. Move to improve your heart health

The heart is like every other muscle in your body — it needs regular exercise to stay healthy and strong. Research shows that sedentary people are twice as likely to develop heart disease compared to those who exercise. The good news is, it only takes 20 to 30 minutes of exercise every day. You can even break your exercise into more manageable increments, such as 10 minutes in the morning and 10 minutes in the afternoon. The key to boosting your heart health is to just get moving.

>>5 Easy ways to fit exercise into your day

3. Have sex for your heart

A romp in the sheets isn’t just good for your relationship, it’s also good for your heart. Researchers have found that sex can ease stress, reduce pain, and boost your immune system, all of which can reduce your risk of heart disease. To boot, sex is fun exercise, another factor in heart health, giving you a great opportunity to boost your heart rate and work muscles you may not use every day.

>>Sex and your heart

4. Sleep for heart health

Most Americans don’t get enough sleep, but that doesn’t mean you need to follow suit. Sleep deprivation has been shown to increase the risk of cardiovascular problems. Research suggests that even modest sleep deprivation may be associated with low-grade inflammation, which can lead to hardening of the arteries, high blood pressure, stroke, heart disease and even heart failure. In addition, when you are sleep deprived, it requires more insulin to balance your blood sugar levels, which, in turn, can lead to heart disease and a host of other health-related problems. Since sex is also good for your heart, you have two reasons to head to the bedroom earlier in the evening.

>>5 Foods that help you sleep

5. Stay educated about heart disease

From knowing the signs of heart disease to asking your doctor how to reduce your risk of heart disease, doing your own research on heart health can help you not only detect the onset of heart disease, but also raise your awareness of the signs of heart diease in your loved ones. Visit www.heart.org, the American Heart Association website, to stay up to date on the latest heart-related research, to learn your risk factors, and get information on more ways to keep your heart healthy.

>>Know the facts about heart health

More vegan lifestyle tips to boost your health!

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