Juggling work, family, social and home commitments is a tough balancing act, especially when devices are clamouring for our attention 24/7.
Good heart health gives you the resilience and stamina to cope with everything life throws your way but adopting time-consuming solutions can be a stumbling block.
Why you should care
A healthy heart powers a healthy life, and good heart health is associated with supporting the maintenance of everything from immunity to blood pressure, brain function, mood, sleep quality, blood sugar and skin condition, so good cardio health is a great place to focus your attention.
Heart issues are one of the main health concerns women face globally, but aside from that alarming fact, your heart is responsible for circulating nutrients, oxygen and water around your body, as well as supporting your immune system and transporting the body’s messenger chemicals such as hormones.
Upping your intake of wholefoods like fruit and vegetables, whole grains, unprocessed protein and healthy fats is something everyone should be doing to help support the health of their arteries, which we know is a major contributor to heart issues.
That doesn’t have to mean a big kitchen overhaul. Starting with a morning smoothie full of dark leaf greens and colourful fruits easily gets vital nutrients into your day if evening meals are a scramble. If you’re finding it hard to cut back on that sugary afternoon snack, minimise its negative effects by eating it with a handful of unsalted raw almonds or walnuts. At dinnertime, if you’re struggling switching to brown rice, try mixing some short-grain brown with your usual white rice until you’re ready to make the full change.
Avoid high levels of salt, sugar, processed carbohydrates and omega-6 oils such as sunflower in your diet, and keep an eye on their stealthy inclusion in packaged foods (sorry, that means checking those nutrition panels!).
Daily exercise hacks
New Zealand’s Heart Foundation recommends 30 minutes of moderate physical activity a day to help reduce your heart risk. For many of us, it’s not feasible to fit in a gym session or run every day, so why not sneak exercise into your normal routine instead?
Using public transport was shown in a recent British Medical Journal study to be associated with lower body mass indices (BMI) than travelling by private transport.
If it’s not practical to ditch the car, park it a 15-minute walk away from your final destination. Conduct walking meetings at work, go and talk to colleagues in person rather than emailing, and if possible, work standing up for 15-30 minutes every one to two hours. Added benefits of exercise include reducing blood pressure risks, helping to control weight, and improving heart muscle health by revitalising its cellular powerhouse – the mitochondria (more of that below).
Your heart is one of the hardest working organs in your body, which means it has high energy needs. This energy comes from within your cells and is generated by the mitochondria – your cells’ power factory. Because of these high energy needs, heart muscle cells have one of the highest concentrations of mitochondria in the human body, up to 5,000 per cell.
So as you can imagine, it’s important they’re in good working order. Mitochondria produce the antioxidant CoQ10 along with free radicals as part of the natural energy production process. When these are in balance, everything is fine but from the age of 35, the mitochondria’s production of CoQ10 can begin to slow down, exposing the cells to free radical damage, which can lead to compromised energy production, and a less than optimal cardiovascular system.
Thankfully, supporting your cells’ energy production only takes 10 seconds a day.
No brainer, right?
MitoQ is a New Zealand innovation and the first and only supplement able to enter the mitochondria and work to re-energise them by helping to neutralise free radicals.
A super-targeted form of CoQ10, MitoQ penetrates the mitochondria hundreds of times more effectively than regular CoQ10 supplements, giving your heart cells the energy they need to keep you powering through life.
For more information, visit mitoq.com
Always read the label and use as directed. If symptoms persist, see your healthcare professional. MitoQ Ltd, Auckland. TAPS PP4050