Take care of your heart with six simple ways to support cardiovascular health at Health Next. Improve your heart's function and achieve overall well-being.
February is American Heart Health Month, making it a good time to consider the ways in which we can support this vital organ.
It can be said, rather, unfortunately, that heart health is typically only addressed in America when something is already wrong. However, why is the organ that is responsible for pumping blood, oxygen, and nutrients to every cell in the body given few opportunities for proactive care?
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States for both men and women, making it particularly valuable to promote the health of your heart before an issue occurs. We acknowledge this mindset can be difficult to adjust to as many of us do not “want” to receive preventative care. Healthcare in general can still stirs up some level of fear that is associated with traditional medicine.
However, ignorance is not bliss when it comes to your heart health. Ignorance leaves you feeling less than optimized. Despite there being nothing “wrong,” striving to feel optimized rather than just “healthy” can help you live healthier for longer.
According to the American Psychological Association, more than 75% of Americans experience physical or emotional symptoms of stress (headaches, fatigue, altered sleeping habits, and others).
Stress should not go ignored or unaddressed as studies show it has a direct effect on heart health. A 2019 Current Cardiology Reports concluded increased stress can result in elevated cholesterol levels and high blood pressure. Both of these symptoms can encourage the buildup of plaque, which increases the chance of a heart attack or stroke.
This is, in part, why relaxation is a necessary part of any health optimization routine. Meditation has proven benefits in combating stress and stress-related ailments such as chronic inflammation, which is why 76% of people who meditate do so for their health.
Relaxation does not need to break the bank with an expensive spa experience. Restorative relaxation can be free and done from the comfort of your home. Meditation has become an increasingly popular source of tension relief over the course of the pandemic. In 2021, 33,061 people gathered for a single online meditation session to experience the benefits of this healing activity. For beginners, there are free, guided meditation apps, such as the Insight Timer, which gives you access to over 45,000 meditations, and you can filter content based on your preferences.
You can take your relaxation to the next level in Next Health’s Infrared Sauna capsules that combine advanced infrared light technology with the time-tested healing properties of jade stones and heat to deliver powerful health benefits without the discomfort of a traditional sauna. This new holistic approach to wellness helps with detoxification, pain relief, mental health, and calorie burning in a single 30-minute session.
As this treatment is just a half-hour, you can stop by a Next Health location to experience our Infrared Light Therapy and meditate during your healing session.
Next Health also offers convenient relaxation services such as our Stress IV, which contains magnesium, vitamin C, taurine, and folic acid to improve adrenal function (your stress regulators) as well as balance your mood.
Hormones are chemical messengers that are responsible for relaying critical information all throughout the body. They send signals regarding hunger, libido, sleep, and more.
Hormones are also influential in regards to your heart health. In fact, research suggests that gender-specific hormones such as testosterone play a crucial part in cardiovascular wellness. Some studies have found that men over the age of 55 who maintained appropriate testosterone levels had a 60% lower chance of developing coronary artery disease.
In regards to women, estrogen protects the heart in numerous ways including keeping tissues and blood vessels flexible, promoting healthy clotting, absorbing free radicals, maintaining low blood pressure, and more. When estrogen levels decrease during menopause, women’s risk of cardiovascular increases. Research suggests that 44% of women over the age of 20 have some form of cardiovascular disease and by 60-70, 78.2% of women suffer from some form of this condition.
You can test your hormone levels at home with Next Health’s Hormone Panel. This test is a standard 4-point saliva collection to complement neurotransmitter or urinary hormone testing (including cortisol). This test can be done at a Next Health storefront or ship straight to your front door. The Hormone Panel also includes an in-depth results review and consultation with our medical providers.
Another great way to check the status of your hormones and also gain a detailed overview of your health is the Next Health Baseline Test. This Test is a comprehensive bloodwork starter panel that not only provides insight on your hormone levels, but also measures core aspects of your health including: vitamin D and B12 levels, thyroid and kidney function, inflammatory markers, and more.
The gut, specifically the gut microbiome, is truly central to your overall well-being. The gut microbiome is a pocket of bacteria located in the large intestine. These bacteria are considered “good bacteria” and are central to various bodily functions.
In fact, the gut microbiome is responsible for approximately 75% of your immune system, 90% of your serotonin production, and plays a critical role in supporting the health of your heart.
Studies show the gut microbiome helps promote the “good” or HDL cholesterol, which keeps your arteries and bloodstream clear of “bad” forms of LDL cholesterol. These bacteria also help reduce the number of triglycerides, which are a type of fat that can contribute to heart disease.
In other words, due to the interconnectedness of the body, supporting your gut is also supporting your heart. Consider supplementing with a probiotic such as Pure Encapsulations GI Probiotic, a high-quality supplement made with hypoallergenic vegan ingredients designed to promote a healthy gut microbiome.
The sooner you start supporting your heart with high-quality supplements, the more you can positively influence your longevity and quality of life.
Below are some of the best supplements on the market to promote a healthy heart:
Nitric Oxide Support: This supplement supports healthy circulation, improves delivery of oxygen to working muscles, and promotes energy production, especially during exercise.
Amla: This Indian superfruit in supplement form provides rejuvenation, supports overall health, and promotes healthy functioning of the heart, liver, brain, and lungs.
Resveratrol: This compound improves antioxidant levels, supports cardiovascular health, and promotes healthy metabolic function.
As some say, a healthy diet and exercise regime are not luxuries but necessities as they are vital for an optimized quality of life.
It is well-documented that ultimately, heart health is dependent on quality food and exercise, making them essential to any list of heart health-supporting tips.
A low-saturated fat, high-fiber diet rich in leafy green vegetables can significantly reduce your risk of developing heart problems. Processed foods and refined carbohydrates can result in systemic inflammation, which puts strains on all bodily functions including the cardiovascular system.
Regular exercise has been shown to lower blood pressure, aid in weight control, lower stress levels, and combat inflammation, all of which improve the overall health of your heart.
At Next Health, we understand that these two lifestyle factors, despite their importance, can be difficult to change. That is why our medical concierge team and medical providers are always happy to answer any questions, provide educational information, and help adjust your personalized health optimization plan to your unique needs.
Understanding your body is the first step towards optimization, which is why Next Health offers a CT Calcium Score to get an accurate picture of your heart health.
A CT Calcium Score is a risk assessment for the possibility of a heart attack. Once your risk level is known, we can help you address & optimize your heart health.
Oftentimes, a CT Calcium Score falls under the category of an advanced medical service that is only utilized in disease management, but this preventative service has not only helped optimize the lives of Next Health patients, but saved them.
If you are interested in experiencing the forefront of medical services in order to support your wellness journey, a CT Calcium Score may be right for you.
Stay young at heart by utilizing the above tips to promote the healthy functioning of your heart.
You deserve to feel even better and supporting your heart is a necessary step in taking your health to the next level.
Interested in gaining an understanding of your heart health from the comfort of your own home? The Next Health CardiaX Panel is a novel genetic panel that assesses markers that are associated with cardiovascular risks including hypertension, cardiac arrhythmias, stroke, atherosclerosis, metabolism of pharmaceuticals and caffeine, and more.