Like all the intricate machinery in your body, your heart needs the right maintenance if it’s going to continue to perform optimally. Learn the lucky numbers that lie at the heart of cardiac health.
Lucky Number #1: A Resting Heart Rate Below 90
You can determine your resting heart rate by counting the number of beats of your pulse per one minute. This number is a barometer of what’s going on in the body. A slower resting heart rate means that your heart is more powerful and efficient. Conversely, a higher heart rate indicates that your heart has to work harder to get the same things done. Studies have shown that women with a resting heart rate over 90 have triple the risk of dying from a heart attack as women with a resting heart rate under 60.
Luckily, there are things you can do to stabilize your resting heart rate. One of the main reasons your heart rate speeds up is to fight inflammation. Instead of letting your heart do all the work, add omega-3s to your diet. In addition to helping lower cholesterol, these supplements provide anti-inflammatory benefits. Inflammation can also be emotional. In these situations, reduce your stress. Stress-proof your body in 5 steps!
Your heart rate is also an indicator of your stamina level. You must exercise the muscle of the heart to keep it strong. During cardio workouts, you should aim to hit 80% of your maximum heart rate. You can calculate your maximum heart rate by subtracting your age from 220. For example, the target heart rate for a 30-year-old would be 190(.8) = 152. Reaching this heart rate for 20 minutes, 3 times a week will work to strengthen your heart.
Lucky Number #2: 1.5 Grams of Sodium Allowed Daily
You should consume less than 1 teaspoon of salt a day, especially if you are over 50. On average, Americans consume more than double this amount. Sodium is harmful to your heart, kidneys and blood vessels. Additionally, it raises your blood pressure which makes your heart work faster and can lead to heart disease.
Most people don’t realize how much sodium is in their food. Learn more about hidden sources of salt in your diet, or get flavorful, salt-free recipes.