You’ll Love These 7 Little Things Even More When You Realize They're Great For Your Heart

by Georgina Berbari

Your body does so much for you every single day. From your heart beating to your lungs breathing, it's pretty incredible to think about all the intricacies that go into keeping you alive, healthy, and doing the things that you love. So why not give back to your body? Perhaps you can start with some little things that are good for your heart incorporated into your day-to-day routine to show your bod just how much you love and appreciate it.

According to Harvard Health, your heart beats more than two billion times over the course of your entire life, which pushes millions of gallons of blood to all different parts of your body, and helps all the essential functions of your being do their thing. How incredible is that?

So, needless to say, keeping your heart healthy is extremely important. At first, it might sound like a daunting or difficult task to take care of this part of your body, considering how much your heart does for you on a regular basis. But it's actually pretty simple to start paying just a little more attention to your heart health. Try adding these seven things to your routine, and you'll see what I mean.

Sauna Time

If you're already a sauna person, you're in luck, because research shows that hopping in the sauna after your workout (or really any other time, TBH) can be amazing for your heart health. A study published in the medical journal BMC Medicine showed that sauna bathing is associated with reduced cardiovascular mortality (translation: it's linked to a lower chance of dying from a heart-related illness), and a clinical cardiology review found that saunas can both increase circulation, and they may be beneficial to patients with heart failure. The same review also said that long-term sauna bathing may help lower blood pressure, specifically for people with hypertension.

So honestly, you might think of using a sauna as a luxury of sorts, but if you ever have the opportunity, whether it's at your gym or perhaps at a hotel while you're traveling, don't pass it up.

More Sleep

Want to boost your heart health without doing a literal thing? Take a nap — I'm serious. According to John Hopkins Medicine, the relationship between quality sleep and good cardiovascular health is pretty simple: "Without enough sleep, your risk for heart disease and heart attack goes up—no matter what your age, your weight, or how much you exercise or smoke."

If you're having trouble sleeping, try lowering the temperature in your bedroom if it's not already near the National Sleep Foundation's recommendation of 60 to 67 degrees Fahrenheit. Additionally, Kelsey Down, a sleep wellness writer for Sleep Train, told Elite Daily back in January 2018 that wearing socks to bed, while it might seem counterintuitive to the whole cool-bedroom thing, can help "lower your core body temperature," making it easier for you to fall asleep overall.

Red Foods

Seasonal food expert Laura McIntosh, host of the show Bringing It Home with Laura McIntosh, told Better Homes & Gardens that certain chemicals in red-colored fruits and veggies that give them their rosy shade are linked to a reduced risk of heart disease. In other words, go HAM on yummy things like strawberries, watermelon, and tomatoes — oh, and red wine, too, according to the outlet.

Good Vibes

According to Healthline, happiness is essential to your heart health on a real, physiological level, and in multiple ways. For example, the outlet cited a 2011 study from the scientific journal Psychoneuroendocrinology, which showed that positive emotions are linked to lower blood pressure. All the more reason to let yourself be silly and weave more good vibes into your life, right?

Positive Relationships And Friendships

“Many studies suggest that emotional stress is hard on your health — raising blood pressure and heart rate, for example,” Johns Hopkins cardiologist Erin Michos, M.D. told Johns Hopkins Medicine.

With the new year ahead of you, set an intention to let go of any toxic friendships or relationships that might be putting your health at risk, and to open yourself up to more positive opportunities.

Good Dental Hygiene

Contrary to popular belief, your dentist does not tell you to floss for some sort of twisted personal pleasure. And actually, according to the Cleveland Clinic, people with gum disease often have "the same risk factors for heart disease," which is why flossing — and practicing good dental hygiene in general — is so important for your heart.

Get to flossing and brushing daily, friends. Your heart will thank you.

Avocados (and other fatty foods)

Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are great for your heart, according to the National Heart Foundation of Australia, so add all the avocados, walnuts, cashews, and salmon to your grocery cart. Guac, anyone? I mean, if it's for your heart, who cares if it costs extra?