An increasing number of people are living with heart health problems. According to the American Heart Association, nearly 50 percent of all adults in the US have heart disease. Most cardiovascular diseases are the result of having high blood pressure. The risk factors for developing heart ailments include age, genetics, smoking, having a poor diet, and alcohol and substance abuse. If you’re in recovery and concerned, there are things that you can do to improve your health while working towards sobriety. Here’s a guide to better heart health during recovery.
Commit to your recovery
Smoking and having an unhealthy diet are some of the most common causes of heart disease. Substance abuse can also cause significant damage to your heart. Abuse of illegal substances such as cocaine, heroine, methamphetamine, GHD and LSD, among others, can have a negative impact on cardiovascular health. Not only can these drugs cause abnormal heart rate, but they can even trigger a stroke, heart attack, or vascular disease. Thankfully, research indicates that stopping drug use can reverse drug-related cases of heart damage. Therefore it’s essential to commit to your recovery in order to prevent long-term cardiovascular problems. Getting professional help can enable you to walk the path towards wellness, which can have a positive effect on your heart health.
Food is an essential part of the recovery process, but what you eat also matters if you want to improve your cardiovascular health. Some people turn to salty, fatty or sugary foods, for comfort during stressful times. Too much unhealthy food can be detrimental to your overall wellbeing. To improve your heart health, lowering your blood sugar levels and maintaining a healthy weight helps. Increase your intake of leafy, green vegetables such as kale and spinach, which are loaded with antioxidants and can improve heart health and function. Other heart-friendly foods that you can consume include avocados, berries, walnuts, salmon, and whole grains. Filling your plate with these foods help lower blood pressure and lessen the risks of developing heart conditions.
Manage your stress levels
Coping with addiction and working your way towards recovery can be challenging and even stressful at times. Stress not only causes anxiety and depression, but it may also affect your heart health. Studies have shown that long-term stress can cause increased blood pressure and cholesterol levels, as well as spikes in blood sugar levels. These can leading to heart disease and other health conditions such as diabetes. This is why finding ways to cope with stress in a positive way should be a priority, whether you’re in a recovery center or healing at home.
Managing stress not only keeps your heart healthy, but it can also help you maintain lasting sobriety. Mindful activities such as yoga and meditation are known to be powerful stress busters, along with any kind of aerobic activity. Engaging in a creative hobby you enjoy and making time for it can help with combating stress and anxiety.
Living a healthy lifestyle and finding ways to manage stress can be the key towards heart health during recovery. Of course, it is always important to seek professional advice and treatment from a trusted doctor.