7 Unusual Ways to Help Your Heart

February 24, 2014
by Michael Barber
7 Unusual Ways to Help Your Heart

Your heart is the control center for all of your other organs, so keeping it healthy and strong is an important part of life. There are many ways to prevent heart disease, strengthen your heart, and make sure it will continue beating for years to come.

Related: Is Aspirin Really Beneficial to the Heart?

Reduce Your Waistline

Most people know that obesity is a leading factor in heart disease, but did you know that you can be at higher risk even if your height and weight don’t categorize you as obese? People who carry their excess weight around the middle of their bodies often have higher blood pressure and elevated lipid levels than those who don’t. Focus your weight loss efforts on losing the extra pounds around your belly, and you can help your heart. If you notice any signs of heart weakness, talk to a doctor for immediate care.

Work With Your Hands

Take up a hobby that involves using your hands and your brain, such as crocheting, knitting, or jigsaw or crossword puzzles. When you focus on a specific activity, it helps you relieve stress and lower your blood pressure, and that helps reduce strain on your heart. There are also studies that tie improved brain function in the elderly to these types of focused activities.

Munch on Tasty Snacks

Fresh salsa is one of the best foods that you can choose to benefit your heart. The antioxidants in the tomatoes help fight disease, and if you add black beans to your concoction, the fiber in those will help lower your cholesterol. Top a chicken breast with fresh salsa for an extra kick, or dip low-fat tortilla chips to satisfy your craving for a crunch.

Related: 5 Foods That Aren’t as Healthy as You Think

Work Your Heart

Just like any other muscle, the heart requires regular exercise to keep it strong and healthy. If you can’t stand the thought of hitting the gym, try to change up your workouts by turning on your favorite tunes and dancing, taking extra flights of stairs when out shopping, or trying some at-home activities that you can watch on your TV or computer. In addition to heart health, exercise provides benefits to just about every part of the body.

Laughter: The Best Medicine

You may not realize it, but a hearty chuckle is a powerful stress reliever that greatly improves your heart. Stress can cause damage to tissue that lines our blood vessels, so when we laugh, that damage is repaired and our blood vessels become healthier and more able to function properly. If you already have heart damage, talk to your physician or visit an urgent care center.

Related: 6 Heart-Healthy Holiday Foods

Sip Freely

A daily glass of red wine offers many health benefits, including a reduction of blood clot risk, improved cholesterol levels, and improved artery function.

Adopt a Furry Friend

Pet owners have a decreased risk of death from heart disease, as well as improved lung and heart function. So one great way to help your heart is to head to a local shelter and find an animal that will give you both unconditional love and great health benefits.

Related: The Health Benefits of Pumpkin (and a Pumpkin Cannelloni Recipe)

Follow these tips and you can help to keep your heart pumping.