When I heard the news that Elizabeth Taylor passed away, like many, I was saddened. Besides making diamonds a girl's best friend, Ms. Taylor has done so much for AIDS research and other charitable causes. Reports say that she died from congestive heart failure, which occurs when the heart keeps contracting but cannot efficiently pump oxygenated blood throughout the body.
Many times we go through our everyday life, without realizing that being fit and eating a healthy diet isn't just about looking more trim — it's also about taking care of what's inside. So we thought it only appropriate to share a few heart-healthy tips. While tragedies from congestive heart failure and other heart issues aren't always preventable, you can never be too careful about taking care of your heart.
5 Heart Healthy Tips
Work out often. Your heart is a muscle, too! Most days of the week you should be getting at least 30 minutes of some kind of moderate exercise such as walking. If you're more fit, be sure to get in some more vigorous exercise such as running or Spin class a few times a week as well.
Cut the salt. Taking in too much sodium can raise your blood pressure and hurt your heart. Resist the urge to salt your food and instead flavor your meals with no-sodium options such as dried and fresh herbs.
Stop smoking. Lighting up is incredibly taxing on your cardiovascular system and your respiratory system. If you've been needing another reason to quit, this is it.
Lift weights. The American Heart Association recommends that healthy adults should do a resistance training plan that works the full body twice a week. Having more muscle is key for improving blood sugar levels, increasing your cardio output and even improving your mood.
De-stress often. Be sure to live a lifestyle that keeps your stress at a minimum. Practice yoga or meditation regularly, eat a healthy diet, get your sleep and try to have a positive outlook. All are linked to better heart health!
Jennipher Walters is the CEO and co-founder of the healthy living websites FitBottomedGirls.com and FitBottomedMamas.com. A certified personal trainer, lifestyle and weight management coach and group exercise instructor, she also holds an MA in health journalism and regularly writes about all things fitness and wellness for various online publications.