Information for this post was found in an article by Men’s Health. For the full article click here.
Your five vital signs are crucial to maintaining a healthy heart. These vitals include your cholesterol, blood pressure, resting heart rate, fasting glucose and c-reactive protein. If these are not optimal, it is important that they improve quickly. A few ways to start improving each of your five vital signs include:
- Reinvent Breakfast to lower your cholesterol. Try a glass of juice with a combination of half orange and half white grapefruit. The sourness in the juice can lower your bad cholesterol, LDL, and boost your good cholesterol, HDL. You can also try replacing your coffee with tea or mixing walnuts into your yogurt or cereal.
- Reduce Your Stress and lower your blood pressure. High stress levels put people at a higher risk for heart attacks and heart failure. To keep from raising your blood pressure, vent to someone every evening after work. After venting, take two aspirin before bed; studies show it can decrease your systolic pressure.
- Keep Your Body Guessing to improve your resting heart rate. Men whose resting heart rates were above 75 beats per minute are three times more likely to suffer a heart attack. Alternating the intensity at which you perform your cardio routines will help your resting heart rate drop.
- Improve Your Insulin Sensitivity to lower your fasting glucose. The best way to do this is by losing weight. Studies also show that having four grams of a supplement with conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) a day, can increase your insulin sensitivity by 27%. Another study showed that replacing 600 calories of your diet with a Hershey’s Extra Dark Chocolate Bar can quadrouple your insulin sensitivity in just two weeks.
- Neutralize with Nutrients to decrease your C-Reactive Protein (CRP) levels. High levels of CRP are linked to increased risks of heart disease and prostate cancer. Studies have shown that taking a vitamin C supplement daily can reduce CRP levels by 24%. Also, be sure to get enough magnesium, because those who have lower levels of magnesium are more likley to have elevated CRP levels.
If you take some simple steps to improve these five vitals, you are on your way to a healthier heart. A lot can change in just a few short weeks by making an effort to improve your cholesterol, blood pressure, resting heart rate, fasting glucose and c-reactive protein levels.
If you would like to learn more about how to maintain a healthier heart or think you should talk to a physician about your potential risk factors, visit Sherman’s Heart and Vascular Center.