Our heart’s good health should be in our list of top priorities every day. It is sometimes forgotten in the cacophony of things we have to attend to daily.

The problem is, we only have one heart (wish we had more!) and replacing it with a brand new one is costly, not to mention the risk of finding a correct match to your body. A neglected heart may lead to cardiovascular disease and a common one at that, according to the American College of Cardiology. Cardiovascular disease is responsible for 31% of deaths worldwide, said the World Health Organization (WHO).

But, as dire as the prospects are for anyone to be at risk for cardiovascular disease, here are a few tips to follow to keep your heart in tip-top shape every single day:

Set a fixed time for exercise

Every one of us is busy with work, family, responsibilities, etc. That’s why it’s most important to peg your exercise routine at the same time every day or every other day. In that way, your exercise time fits nicely and seamlessly into your schedule. If you can make time for exercise in the morning, try pegging your exercise session early in the morning after you wake up.

Eat with gusto but don’t overdo it

If you’re the type who loves food, remember you can still enjoy eating food while being more conscientious in choosing which food and food types you are going to consume every day. Eat more vegetables and fruits, and go slow on the sodium and sweet foods. Using a smaller plate will help you regulate the portions you eat per meal.

Choose the same menu items when you eat out

It might sound boring to be choosing the same kind of foods every time you go out. But by planning and visualizing what you want to order in a restaurant beforehand, you can be sure to stick to the items that are good for your health and prevent impulse-buying.

Make time for restful sleep

Not everyone needs 8 hours of sleep every day. However, you will know if you have had enough sleep or if you need more. Not having enough sleep may develop into bodily inflammation, increased heart rate, and a higher blood pressure in the long-term. Make sure you remove any television and cellphones near you as well as any source of irritating sounds when you go into deep slumber.

Try meditation

Chronic stress may increase the levels of your stress hormones like cortisol which can lead to heart disease. To keep your body and mind focused and in the now, try meditation. A few minutes of sitting down in a quiet area of your room and engaging in mindful deep breathing will do wonders for your nerves, concentration, and peace of mind. Do this at least 15 minutes every day. You will notice a big difference in your outlook on life after a month or so.

Be prepared to exercise by carrying a gym bag always

Always try to find time to exercise. So throw a gym bag at the back of your car or stuff it into your locker at the office. Make sure you allocate at least 20-30 minutes for a workout daily. Or, in the absence of a gym nearby, a brisk walk or jog in a park not so far from you will be a healthy routine in no time.

Choose a furry friend

Taking care of a dog or cat enables one to be compassionate to others – and a very therapeutic exercise as well. Dog and cat lovers attest to feeling happier with an animal around that gives them immense joy.

Start a journal

A pastime that sure can relieve stress and anxiety, as well as a way of analyzing one’s emotions and looking at problems by visualizing them. Writing a daily journal is therapeutic; you try to capture in words various emotions and problems on paper. It’s calming to write everything down on paper so you can easily analyze your issues so as not to commit the same mistake again.

Reach out to family and friends

Finally, genuine love and affection release the hormone oxytocin which induces human bonding. This feel-good hormone is needed for our everyday survival. Sometimes, all we need is to extend a helping hand to someone to keep their hearts healthy and ours in the right place.

Schedule regular visits to the cardiologist

It is a good idea to schedule preventative visits to your cardiologist or naturopathic doctor when it comes to heart health. Don’t wait for a heart-related malady to exacerbate. Go and have it checked promptly!

Well, the above are the little ways we can keep our heart healthy. Do you have any other tips to add to our list? Share in the comments below.

Image by stevepb / CC0 1.0