It goes without saying that your heart is one of the most important organs you’ve got. It is responsible for pumping life-sustaining nutrients and oxygen to the rest of the body, while sending body waste to the liver and kidneys for disposal.
Without a strong heart, you cannot have a strong body.
A weak heart muscle is usually the result of unhealthy lifestyle choices that have occurred over time. The most common cause of a weak heart is a previous heart attack.
Nutrition, physical activity and lifestyle modifications are the best tools you have to strengthen your ticker. Improving these behaviors can slash your risk of heart problems.
Genetics is not the problem. It is how our lifestyle and environment impact our genes. That is the problem.
Here are my 10 top ways to strengthen your heart because as the saying goes, ” Weak heart muscles, we must defeat, in order to keep a healthy heart beat!”
- Eat right
- Avoid sodium and load up on potassium. Diets high in sodium and low in potassium are linked to high blood pressure and an increased risk of death from heart disease.
- Eat fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids regularly to lower inflammation, increase blood flow and improve heart rhythm.
- Load up on heart-healthy fats like avocados and cook with heart-healthy oils.
- Follow the Paleo diet like our ancestors. A Paleo diet has shown to be associated with weight loss, lower inflammation and healthy cholesterol levels, which help to keep the heart going strong1.
- Be Active
- Physical activity is one the best things you can do to strengthen your heart. Exercise helps the heart use oxygen and pump blood more efficiently so it doesn’t have to work as hard
- Avoid a sedentary lifestyle. Sitting is the new smoking and it is, without a doubt, detrimental to health outcomes.
- Try going on a 30-minute walk every day. This boosts blood flow and relaxes blood vessels.
- We love yoga, hiking, biking, and gardening.
- Aerobic exercise is one of the things you can do to strengthen your heart. It lowers blood pressure, normalizes heart rate and strengthens the heart muscle. Strength training can also build your heart muscle.
- Any level of exercise that you can do will be beneficial. The more exercise you can get the better your heart will fare2.
- Breathe more
- Focusing on breath work often can help to lower blood pressure naturally.
- Deep breathing helps to reduce stress and anxiety, which are hard on the heart. Stress and anxiety cause blood pressure and heart rate to increase.
- Try yoga or meditation exercises. Learn to relax. Practice gratitude.
- Check out my video on alternate nostril breathing.
- Anxiety and depression have long been linked to heart problems and one of the most helpful strategies for building heart strength is to engage in relaxing exercises that promote stress reduction3.
- Sleep 7-8 hours every night
- Getting less than 6 hours of sleep is associated with increased intake of food, unhealthy diet choices and metabolic disturbances.
- Quality sleep is very important to heart health. Go to sleep with sundown and get up with sunrise as our ancestors have done for thousands (millions) of years.
- Studies have found that people who get less than 6 hours of sleep a night are more likely to have high blood pressure and other adverse cardiac effects4, which puts unnecessary strain on the heart and can weaken it over time.
- Stroke risk is higher in poor sleepers.
- Drop the pressure
- Elevated blood pressure also puts a major strain on your heart muscles. Hypertension can cause thickening and enlargement of the walls of the heart, known as hypertrophy, which can impair heart function and cause the heart to work harder5.
- Evidence has shown that supplements like beetroot can help to increase nitric oxide, dilate blood vessels, increase blood flow, lower blood pressure and improve vascular function.
- Crank up your nitric oxide with beetroot and amino acids like our Vessel Support.
- Control your blood sugar
- Diabetes is a health condition that can greatly impact the heart and it’s overall strength. Hypoglycemia can increase oxidative stress and damage the heart and brain, as a result6.
- Prediabetes can also greatly increase chances of heart disease and put unnecessary strain on the heart. On top of that, gestational diabetes that occurred during pregnancy can up your odds of poor heart function, as well.
- Know your numbers. Get the best testing done.
- Our go to supplement for blood sugar is berberine. Check out this powerhouse product with dozens of studies showing efficacy.
- Heal your gut
- Gut health impacts heart health. The microbes living in your gut can play a role in how strong your heart is and your subsequent risk for heart problems.
- The DNA of unhealthy bacteria has been discovered in the atherosclerotic plaques of patients7. In fact, it has been speculated that the imbalanced gut microbiome of patients with CVD could be one of the leading causes of harmful inflammation in the heart7.
- Shed excess weight
- Being overweight dramatically weakens your heart and causes the heart muscles to work harder. Manage your weight to manage your heart. Being overweight or obese can dramatically increase your risk of developing heart-related issues.
- Abdominal adiposity is linked to chronic health problems like heart disease. Waist circumference greater than 35 inches for women and 40 inches for men put them at a much higher risk for a developing a weak heart and heart disease.
- Drink the right fluids
- Stop drinking your calories. Eliminate high sugar or alcoholic drinks.
- Drink adequate fluids every day to flush toxins out.
- Drink high-quality water with minerals to regulate fluid balance and blood pressure. Staying hydrated helps the heart pump blood throughout your system, helps the muscles to work more efficiently and keeps your heart from being overworked.
- Stop smoking and stay away from others who smoke, too!
- Smoking damages your heart. Eliminate all toxins in your environment because they will weaken your heart over time.
- Second hand smoke is just as bad at damaging your heart muscle. Avoid it at all costs.