It’s no secret that our risk of heart problems increases as we age. We’re more likely to experience high cholesterol, stiffer blood vessels and high blood pressure.
But despite the increased risks, some people manage to maintain a healthy heart and live long, healthy lives.
What’s their secret? Is it all genetic? Are we doomed to become victims of heart problems just because it runs in our family, or can we fight back and lower our risks?
I’ve researched this topic tirelessly, and I found out that we can take control of our heart health and lower our risk of heart attack and other cardiovascular problems in just 10 minutes a day.
A study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association followed 1,600 volunteers in their early 60s.
The researchers equipped the participants with heart rate and movement sensors for five days to monitor how much physical activity they were getting and what kinds (light physical activity like slow walking, stretching, golfing or gardening versus moderate-to-vigorous activity, things like brisk walking, bicycling, dancing, tennis or vacuuming).
At the end of the five days, the researchers analyzed the participants’ blood levels for markers of cardiovascular disease and compared them to their activity levels.
Not surprisingly, the more physical activity the volunteers engaged in, the better their results.
The researchers discovered that:
• Each additional 10 minutes spent in moderate-to-vigorous intensity activity was associated with leptin levels (a marker of cholesterol that plays a role in your heart attack risk) that were 3.7 percent lower in men and 6.6 percent lower in women.
• Each additional 10 minutes spent sedentary was associated with 0.6 percent higher IL-6 levels in men and 1.4 percent higher IL-6 levels in women (showing that the lining of their blood vessels was in poorer health).
• Each additional 10 minutes spent in light intensity activity was associated with around 0.8 percent lower t-PA levels in both men and women. This is important because t-PA is what your body uses to dissolve clots to keep you from having a stroke and the less t-PA available in your body, the more likely you are to have a clot pass to your brain.
• Less sedentary time improved the IL-6 and t-PA (boosting blood vessels health and decreasing the risk of stroke) whether the activity was low or high intensity.
In other words, just by adding an extra 10 minutes a day of physical activity to your regimen, you can lower your cholesterol, improve your blood vessel health and decrease your risk of heart attack and stroke.
And if the results with just 10 minutes more are so beneficial, imagine what an extra 30 minutes a day five days a weeks could do for your heart health.
That’s why the American Heart Association suggests at least 150 minutes a week of moderate intensity or 75 minutes a week of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity (or a combination of the two) and muscle-strengthening exercises two or more days a week to optimize your cardiovascular function.
You can get heart healthy in five simple steps.
1. Exercise — Start small and work your way up to meet the above guidelines for both aerobic and muscle-strengthening exercises.
2. Eat healthy — Heart health begins with what you put in your body — so watch your diet. Eliminate sodas and other sugary drinks, add in more fruits and veggies and be sure to get more fish in your diet. It’s good for your heart and will help improve your brain health and your waistline. You can even take a fish oil supplement like Peak Krill Oil if you’re not a fan of seafood.
3. Use deep breathing — Take a few minutes each day and concentrate on breathing in as deeply as you can. Hold for a count of four and then exhale slowly. These deep breathing exercises can help you relax and lower your blood pressure.
4. Practice gratitude — Counting your blessings each day has been shown to improve health, longevity and overall well-being by helping you to focus on positive emotions.
5. Take heart healthy supplements — There are four important supplements for maintaining optimal heart health that you should never be without. They are:
• Vitamin K2 — A very specific form of vitamin K2, known as MK7, makes sure that the calcium in your body gets shuttled to your bones where it belongs instead of getting deposited in the walls of your blood vessels. This keeps them soft and pliable to maintain normal blood pressure.
• Nitrosigine® — A combination of L-arginine and arginine silicate boosts your body’s production of nitric oxide to relax your blood vessels, strengthen and boost the flexibility of your artery walls and support the health of your blood vessel lining.
• NSK-SD® Nattokinase — Clotting is a good thing when you’re injured. It stops the bleeding and can save your life. But if your body can’t dissolve the clots when the danger is past, your blood begins to thicken and your circulation slows. That’s where nattokinase comes in. It dissolves the fibrin found in clots in your vessels, allowing your blood to flow smoothly.
• CoQ10 — This amazing “spark plug” molecule creates life and energy in each of our cells. More than 300 studies have demonstrated the cardiovascular health benefits of CoQ10, including its ability to help maintain healthy heart cells, normal blood pressure and memory and reduce free radicals.
You can find all four of these supplements for maintaining optimal heart health in Peak Cardio Platinum.
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