Have you ever put diesel in your car by accident? Odds are you messed it up pretty good and had to spend some time and money getting it back to running shape. Your body is kind of the same way. Aside from the inherent risks of smoking, eating a poor diet, or drinking lots of sugary drinks, these can all also plague the health of your heart, your body’s engine. With heart disease being the leading cause of death for men, prioritizing your health isn’t an option. Focus on caring for and loving your heart this February for American Heart Month. There are tons of easy ways to make your engine, or your heart and blood vessels, run more smoothly. They can be as simple as choosing high-octane instead of diesel, and Lark can coach you in making a few changes, on your terms, using your smartphone.
Sexual Health for My Heart
A healthy sex life is important to our overall wellbeing and for our heart. Sex has many health benefits like balancing our estrogen and testosterone levels, as well as psychological benefits like increased oxytocin levels. These benefits help reduce physical and mental stress which can improve heart function. However, the physiological responses to sex rely on proper blood flow, and therefore, a healthy heart. So, for those who normally have a healthy sex life, noticing sudden changes in your performance, like erectile dysfunction, can be an early warning sign of cardiovascular issues. Though this isn’t always the case, if you have no other reason to be experiencing the change, such as new medications or mental health issues, it’s advised you meet with a doctor for a screening.
Physical Health for My Heart
Cardiovascular health deals with the overall health of your heart and blood vessels, and one of the best ways to protect it is through aerobic workouts, or “cardio” and strength training. The way you perform cardio exercise is your choice, (think jogging, cycling, shooting hoops, and swimming, for example, but on the low end, it’s recommended you aim for 30 minutes of sweat-inducing exercise a day, five times a week. Whether you are approaching middle age, or beyond, keeping a healthy muscle mass can help lower your odds of heart disease by 80%, and weight lifting and other forms of strength training can help you maintain muscle mass and metabolism. More immediately, regular exercise and cardio can help you lower “bad” LDL cholesterol and raise “good” HDL cholesterol, as well as combat the onset of hypertension, a common health problem in men, by increasing blood flow throughout the body and lowering blood pressure. Only 27% of men ages 18 to 64 hit exercise recommendations, but Lark can help with reminders, tips, and tracking to keep you honest, all discretely delivered via a smartphone app.
Emotional Health for My Heart
Though your happiness may not be directly related to your heart health, the symptoms linked to it can play a big role in your cardiovascular wellness. Issues like built-up stress can lead to disrupted sleep patterns which have the ability to cause congestive heart failure. Making sure to get a healthy amount of sleep is paramount to caring for your heart. If you’re finding it difficult to fall asleep, try taking more breaks or going to bed earlier. A few ways to destress could be scheduling a yoga class, getting lost in a good book before bed, or starting to journal as a way of reflection and looking forward. Soon enough, you’ll be getting the advised 7-9 hours and feeling refreshed the next day. Lark’s stress management and sleep programs can put you on the path to a healthier heart.
There’s no need to make drastic changes unless you’ve been putting diesel in your car all along. Try kicking one bad habit with a good one and going from there. Your likelihood of contracting a cardiovascular disease increases with age, so don’t wait to start protecting yourself until you notice symptoms. As with many issues, Lark can help you with guidance for healthier eating, weight loss, and controlling your blood pressure.