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Five Ways to Make Yourself Younger by Focusing on Artery Health

By Angela Myers 2 years agoNo Comments
Home  /  Heart Disease  /  Five Ways to Make Yourself Younger by Focusing on Artery Health
Keep Your Arteries Young

While we don’t know why we age, we know what ages us. The hardening of our arteries is one of the biggest culprits. Oxygen-rich blood from the heart travels through blood vessels called arteries and is delivered throughout the tissues of the body. As the arteries age, this delivery doesn’t go as smoothly if the arteries begin to harden and aging is reflected in the tissue.

Aging is inevitable (at least for now) but you can slow it down. Slowing down the aging of the arteries is effective and can be done through a couple simple lifestyle changes–five changes to be exact!

  • Exercise regularly
  • Eat the right foods
  • Get good sleep
  • Spend time in nature
  • Develop good stress management

The best thing about all these points is that you can take action on them today! Let’s go through each one, explaining the benefits it has for the arteries, and demonstrating how you can integrate it into your normal routine.

Exercise Regularly

The most important type of exercise for your circulatory system and your arteries is aerobic, where you’re moving your body rhythmically to increase heart rate, breathing rate, and circulation. When arteries age, it’s usually because they become less flexible. A 2014 study found that aerobic exercise helped arteries maintain flexibility and decrease stress on the arteries. The researchers recommended aerobic exercise be used as a “first line strategy of defense” against aging arteries.

Woman running

Aerobic exercise, whether running, dancing, or something else, gets your heart rate up and helps you break a sweat. When you’re in the zone for 30 minutes a day, you’ve done your heart, mind and body a world of good.

Eat the Right Foods

Eating a variety of colorful fruits and dark green veggies daily provides ample amounts of fiber and Vitamin C, both important to blood vessel resilience. When cooking, use plant based oils such as coconut, olive, and sunflower. Limit your intake of refined sugars. Opt for wild caught fish, organic or free-range poultry, and leaner cuts of grass fed beef. Increase intake of healthy fats such as avocado, nuts, and seeds.

Many of these artery-healthy foods are cornerstones of the Mediterranean Diet. A 2021 article in Aging Clinical and Experimental Research suggested that the Mediterranean Diet is linked to healthier arteries as well as a variety of other benefits, such as decreased risk of cancer and diabetes. In particular, the Mediterranean Diet’s focus on nitrate-rich vegetables, such as kale and spinach, was linked to healthier arteries. More vegetables in your diet could decrease aging in your arteries.

Adding the right supplements to your diet can also promote healthy blood vessels. Key nutrition supplements which support arteries include:

  • Turmeric
  • Bioflavonoids
  • Anthocyanidins (colored plant pigments)
  • Trace minerals

Turmeric contains curcumin, which has anti-inflammatory properties and supports the elasticity of the blood vessels. Anthocyanidins contribute to the robust color of many fruits and veggies, and have heart-protective properties. Bioflavonoids support cell growth and can help reduce inflammation. Trace minerals such as zinc and copper support healthy development of the vessels and other tissues in the body.

Get Good Sleep

We often hear about the importance of getting enough sleep, with eight hours a night usually recommended. When it comes to artery health, throwing in a midday nap might actually help too!

Unmade bed

A 2020 study looking at patients with arterial hypertension found that those who took a 60 minute midday nap were at a lower risk for severe cardiovascular events. While this study only looked at those who had unhealthy arteries, it is a fascinating look into how sleep can improve our cardiovascular health.

Spend Time in Nature

It’s no secret that spending time in nature can help you live a longer and healthier life. Time in nature often combines the benefits of physical exercise with the mental health benefits of increased mood and decreased stress levels.

If you want to experience the benefits of time in nature on your arteries–and your overall health, consider forest bathing. Many of us already know intuitively that taking a nice, relaxing stroll through the trees can be a peaceful and rejuvenating experience. It’s a sentiment that’s been oft repeated throughout history, from John Muir to Henry David Thoreau to Williams Wadsworth and all the way back to Cyrus the Great, who built gardens for relaxation in Persia two thousand-odd years ago. But forest bathing isn’t just relaxing; it has tangible health benefits, particularly when it comes to aging more gracefully.

Researchers in Canada studied the effect of trees on those in an urban environment by measuring, block-by-block, both the distribution of green space and the health of the people living there. Even after controlling for socio-economic and demographic differences, they found that having just ten more trees on a city block “improve[d] health perception in ways comparable to an increase in annual personal income of $10,000, moving to a neighborhood with $10,000 higher median income, or being 7 years younger.” The more trees there were, the more stark differences the researchers saw.

Develop Good Stress Management

Chronic negativity and daily stress take a huge toll on your mind and body, particularly the cardiovascular system. Learn how to achieve inner calm through healthy coping strategies. Some of these include:

  • Deep breathing
  • Yoga
  • Meditation
  • Journaling
  • Aerobic exercise

If you want to enhance the stress relief from any of these activities, try doing it outside. Even a 15 minute walk can decrease stress by 15%–which is more than an indoor walk. This might be due to the added benefits of Vitamin D, sunlight, and fresh air provided by nature.

Woman meditating

Exercise, eating the right foods, getting enough sleep, time in nature, and proper stress management can all improve the health of your arteries. Slowing the aging of arteries comes down to your decisions: are you making decisions today that will increase your health tomorrow?

For more natural wellness tips, consider subscribing to my free newsletter. When you subscribe, you’ll get a free guide on how to beat seasonal affective disorder this winter and improve your mood before spring comes.

  Heart Disease

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