The heart is arguably the most important organ in your body, and as the old adage goes, prevention is better than cure. So BEFORE any issues crop up, how do you take care of your heart and keep it healthy and happy throughout your lifetime?

Here we share some ways that you can build up a strong heart naturally, so that you can focus on living your desired life!

7 Easy ways to improve heart health naturally 

1. Enjoy the catch of the day

Cut down on red meat and have fish at least twice a week. Besides providing protein, fatty species of fish like salmon, sardines and tuna provide omega-3 acids, which reduces the risk of heart attack and stroke. Read more on superfoods for your heart here!

2. Relieve some stress

Singaporeans are a stressed bunch, and that is something we don’t want to be known for! Stress contributes to a host of issues ranging from high blood pressure (Hypertension), depression and heart problems, just to name a few.

Start managing your stress by finding a hobby that you enjoy, or practice relaxation techniques like meditation or listening to calming music. Here are some tips on what to do, and what NOT to do!

3. Achieve your optimal BMI

When it comes to body weight, there is such a thing as too much, and too little! If you are packing more pounds than you should, you are at higher risk for conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and stroke.

And if you think being thin is safe, forget what Hollywood and the fashion industry told you, waifish looks are not healthy! Being underweight also carries higher risks for getting conditions like anemia, osteoporosis, and decreased immune function.

Calculate your BMI with the formula:

WEIGHT in kilograms / HEIGHT2 in metres

For example, if you’re 65 kg and 1.70m tall, the formula is: 65 / (1.70 x 1.70) = 22.5

A healthy BMI to aim for is between 18.5 – 22.9.

4. Snooze, not lose (sleep)

Studies have shown that Singaporeans sleep the least compared to our peers in neighbouring countries, and you might have heard the term ‘Sleep is a luxury’. Well, one thing’s for sure: Sleep isn’t a luxury. It’s CRITICIAL to your well-being. A lack of sleep puts you at higher risk for heart attacks, stroke, and heart diseases.

5. Eat chocolates! Yay!

Bet you didn’t know, but cacao, the main ingredient in chocolate, has many proven health benefits! It not only decreases the risk of heart disease, it is also high in antioxidants and high in nutritional value!

But before you go crazy at the candy store, do note that premium dark chocolates have the highest cacao content, so choose these over milk or white chocolate. And as always, everything in moderation!

6. Get active

There has been enough said about exercise, but most Singaporeans do not act on it with our busy and hectic lifestyles. COVID-19 has given all of us a chance to relook our lifestyles and working patterns, and this could be the best time to start a routine, and stick to it. Don’t wait until something happens and you CAN’T exercise, start NOW!

7. What you DON’T KNOW, CAN hurt you.

If you are below 40, feeling fit as a fiddle and not showing symptoms of any illness at all, go for a checkup. WHAT? No, you didn’t read it wrong.

Feeling well does not equate to good health, and experts advise health screening to start early, BEFORE any symptoms appear. Getting an overview of the silent risk factors in your body allows you to halt or reverse issues before anything starts to happen.

Read more on what types of health screening you should do in accordance to your age here.

With our handy tips to help you start on a hearty and healthy journey, we hope that you can take the initiative and grab the best that life can offer. If you find it a challenge to make so many changes at once, start with the one that is easiest to do. Once you have made a habit out of it, move on to the next, or you can challenge the different tips concurrently.

Take care of your heart, and it will take care of you. Because your #healthiswealth

Ref: J22

Check out other articles on heart health:

3 Best Exercises for Your Heart

Are Fast Heartbeats Dangerous?

Sudden Chest Pains You Shouldn't Ignore

Sleep Apnea and Heart Disease

Sudden Cardiac Arrest (Sudden Death): Are You at Risk?