Rock your heart health with a few simple strategies that will keep your ticker ticking a steady beat for a long and happy life!
You want a rock-solid recipe for a healthy heart? All right, here you go, baby. Don’t say I never did nothin’ for ya. Learning from my good friend and world-renowned cardiologist, Dr. Joel Kahn—aka “America’s Holistic Heart Doc”—the equation for lifelong heart health looks a little something like this: stress reduction techniques + daily exercise + reducing your cholesterol + eating heart-healthy, plant-based foods + adding more joy and gratitude to your life = one top-notch ticker!
I’ve known for a long time that heart disease is a big issue. I’ve had acquaintances whose parents underwent bypass surgery, and I’ve occasionally seen social media posts from people trying to heal after having undergone open-heart surgery. But when I saw the entire scope of the issue and the sheer number of people dying from this disease, it really hit home: people are not taking good care of their most vital organ. The good thing is that we are seeing more and more practical solutions to healing the heart, from dietary choices to lifestyle modifications and mindfulness practices. The nuggets of wisdom in this post are more useful than ever, simply due to the number of people who suffer from heart disease:
One-third of all people in the world are currently at risk of developing heart disease
About 600,000 people die of heart disease in the U.S. every year—that’s one in every four deaths
Coronary heart disease alone costs the U.S. $108.9 billion each year
Looking at this from a sheer numbers perspective—from the number of people dying to the hundreds of billions of dollars in health care costs—it’s clear that, as a society, we need to turn this equation around and start taking more responsibility for our health.
Along with poor nutrition, stress and anxiety can be extremely detrimental to your heart health. Studies have shown that high levels of cortisol (the stress hormone) are correlated with higher rates of heart disease.
So, what can you do about it?
The most important step you can take is reducing your levels of stress and anxiety. You can do this through a few simple strategies that not only lengthen your life, but they also make life more enjoyable!
- Daily walks
- Regular exercise
- Deep breathing
- Get out in nature
- Regular massage
All of these things can lower your cortisol levels and, in turn, help to preserve your heart. Your diet takes a part in all this as well. Dr. Dean Ornish is a pioneer in the medical industry who successfully reversed atherosclerosis, coronary artery disease (CAD), and other chronic diseases in his patients. His approach features a plant-based diet, quitting smoking, moderate exercise, and stress-management techniques.
In short, the absolute best approach to creating and maintaining long-term heart health is through active and conscientious prevention. Through your dietary choices, you are creating a healthy internal bioterrain in which your heart can efficiently do its job by getting blood to vital organs, cells, and tissues. Combine this with healthy lifestyle practices, and you’ve got a powerful prescription for lifelong heart health!