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How to Improve Your Cardiovascular Health

by
author image Melynda Sorrels
Melynda Sorrels spent 10 years in the military working in different capacities of the medical field, including dental assisting, health services administration, decontamination and urgent medical care. Awarded the National Guardsman’s Medal for Lifesaving efforts in 2002, Sorrels was also a nominee for a Red Cross Award and a certified EMT-B for four years.
How to Improve Your Cardiovascular Health
Implementing a self-paced excercise regimen can help to improve your cardiovascular health. Photo Credit Goodshoot/Goodshoot/Getty Images

Cardiovascular health entails your heart and the intricate system of blood vessels that carry blood through your body known as the circulatory system. According to the American Heart Association, cardiovascular disease is the top killer in the United States. It is of the utmost importance to make a conscious daily effort to keep your cardiovascular health in mind. With a few lifestyle changes, you can increase and maintain your cardiovascular health.

Step 1

How to Improve Your Cardiovascular Health
It is good to quit smoking for cardiovascular health. Photo Credit Chad Baker/Jason Reed/Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images

Stop smoking and cut back on alcohol. While occasional drinking is fine, drinking more than three alcoholic beverages a day can raise blood pressure and isn’t good for your heart. Nicotine, a chemical in cigarettes, constricts the blood vessels, hindering blood flow and causing blood pressure to rise. Kicking these habits isn’t easy, but the overall result will help to improve your cardiovascular health significantly.

Step 2

How to Improve Your Cardiovascular Health
Exercise regularly to help boos circulation and improve cholesterol levels. Photo Credit Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images

Exercise regularly to help boost circulation and improve cholesterol levels. Thirty minutes of aerobic exercise three to four days per week can help to improve your overall cardiovascular health as well as maintain it. If you have not previously had a physically active lifestyle, it’s best to start off slowly with low-impact activities such as walking or yoga.

Step 3

How to Improve Your Cardiovascular Health
Try opting for sodium-free or low-sodium products. Photo Credit bhofack2/iStock/Getty Images

Cut back on sodium intake. Your body only needs about 500 mg of sodium daily so try opting for sodium-free seasonings and beware of hidden salts in snacks and fast food. Sodium helps to regulate fluids within the body. Too much salt can cause water retention.

Step 4

How to Improve Your Cardiovascular Health
Keep a record of your blood pressure scores. Photo Credit Piter1977/iStock/Getty Images

Take steps to maintain a healthy blood pressure. If you don’t have a blood pressure monitor at home, you can often find a blood pressure reader in the pharmacy section of a grocery store. Take you blood pressure daily for a week and record it. If the numbers read higher than 140/90 you should contact your doctor to schedule an appointment to discuss options to lower it.

Step 5

How to Improve Your Cardiovascular Health
Eat fish at least once a week. Photo Credit Viktorija Kuprijanova/iStock/Getty Images

Maintain a healthful diet by cutting back on fatty fried foods and foods high in saturated fats. Opt for green leafy vegetables and lean meats and low fat dairy products. Eat fish at least once a week for the heart healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Mackerel, tuna, and salmon are just some of the types of fish that are considered fatty, meaning they are high in omega-3s.

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