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Ways to help your heart every day

When looking after your heart there are everyday ways to help which are practical and simple to include in your lifestyle.

By Bio Island Nutrition Team


It is highly recommended that adults get 8 hours of sleep each night as this allows time for the body to rest, recover and recharge. Not having enough sleep can have negative impacts on our health, especially heart health. Sleep deprivation and interrupted sleep may contribute to blood pressure issues and can increase the risk of heart disease and other health issues such as diabetes and stroke.

There are many stages to sleep cycles, however during the non-rapid eye movement (NREM) stage, this is when our heat rate slows down and blood pressure drops. This in turn reduces the stress on the heart giving it the opportunity to rest and recover. When you have interrupted sleep or not enough sleep, your blood pressure may not drop putting unnecessary strain on the heart.

Poor sleep can also cause inflammation within this body which can lead to atherosclerosis which is the formation of plaque and hardening of the arteries when this occurs the arteries narrow affecting the amount of blood and oxygen that can get to the heart.

Having a good night-time routine will make sure that you have a good sleep, and your heart gets the rest it deserves. Try and incorporate the following:

  • Mediation, deep breathing, or light stretches
  • Avoiding alcohol and caffeine at night
  • Reduce the amount of screen time and turn off at least an hour before bed.
  • Have a warm relaxing bath before bed.

Making your bedroom as comfortable as possible with the right mattress and pillows can also have a positive impact on your sleep quality. Make sure that your bedroom is as dark and quiet as possible. It is best to avoid using the bedroom for anything other than sleeping, as this can cause a dissociation between the room and sleeping.  


Keeping active and maintaining a healthy body weight will help keep your heart healthy and strong. Swimming has many benefits and a great incorporation into your exercise regime. As a low impact exercise, swimming is suitable for all ages and abilities especially those that concerned about joints.

Swimming is an aerobic exercise that works and tones your entire body as well as having a positive effect of your cardiovascular health. Swimming increases your heart rate without placing extra stress on your heart. It helps strengthen our hearts by helping to make the heart larger, this allows for better blood flow throughout your body. As swimming works both the heart and lungs, over time your body will use oxygen more efficiently and will also pump more blood with each heartbeat resulting in a lower resting heart rate. Other heart healthy benefits of swimming include reduce blood pressure, improves breathing and improved blood circulation.

Whilst swimming offers so many benefits, there are also other excellent aquatic alternatives that still offer the same benefits, such walking or running in waist deep water or joining an aqua aerobics class.

It is important that before making any changes to your exercise routine you discuss with your doctor first.  If you have had heart surgery, you will need to get clearance from your doctor before swimming as you need to allow time for your breastbone and chest muscles to heal.


Whilst more research is needed into the direct effects of stress and heart disease, stress can impact on behaviours and factors that increase the risk of heart disease, for example obesity, increased alcohol intake or smoking and can also trigger inflammation which is a very well-known instigator of heart disease. It is therefore important to learn how to manage stress effectively and there are many simple ways to do so including:

  • Mediation and deep breathing
  • Exercise
  • Positivity and gratitude
  • Sleep
  • Healthy eating
  • Get support and reach out to your support network


This information does not take into account your personal situation and is general in nature. You should consider whether the information is appropriate for your needs and seek professional medical advice.

Always consult your healthcare professional before taking any supplements or if any concerns arise.

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