5 Signs of a Strong, Healthy Heart
Having a healthy heart is essential for your overall health and wellness. After all, if your heart isn’t healthy, it makes it hard to do lots of things — from simple daily tasks to the activities you enjoy with your family and friends.
Routine medical exams with your primary care doctor are one way to keep track of your heart health. However, there are some signs you can track — signs that are associated with a healthy heart and normal heart activity.
At Medical Access, our team helps patients manage their heart health with proactive care and management of chronic heart issues. Here are five signs they want you to know about, so you can keep track of your heart health in between your regular exams.
1. Ample energy throughout the day
Your organs need a regular supply of oxygen to support activity. Without enough oxygen, you’ll find yourself feeling tired after even light activity. In fact, chronic fatigue is a symptom of some types of heart disease.
With a healthy heart, you’ll be able to exercise without overburdening your organs or your body. Sure, you’ll still probably feel tired out after a particularly strenuous activity. But you won’t feel sluggish, tired, and fatigued on a regular basis.
2. Quick recovery after exercise
Speaking of exercise, a healthy heart also helps your body recover quickly after physical exertion. Your muscles use lots of oxygen, and a healthy heart delivers plenty of oxygen necessary for those muscles to rebound.
To see how quickly your heart recovers after exercise, take your pulse immediately after your activity then again a minute later. Ideally, your pulse will have dropped by 20 beats or more.
3. Not feeling breathless
It isn’t unusual to need to catch your breath occasionally, particularly after physical exertion, like going for a run or climbing a hill. If your heart is healthy, you regain normal breathing pretty quickly after activity.
If your heart isn’t healthy, you may feel breathless with even mild exertion, like climbing the stairs in your home or going for a short, slow walk. In fact, breathlessness is a fairly common symptom of several types of heart problems.
4. Sleeping well at night
Heart problems affect your sleep in multiple ways. First, heart conditions can make it hard to breathe, especially when you’re lying down. Some heart issues cause chest pain or breathlessness that can interrupt your sleep. And of course, once a heart problem wakes you, anxiety can keep you up for hours.
On the other hand, if you regularly sleep well, it’s a good sign that your heart is healthy. An occasional sleepless night typically is nothing to worry about — we all have them (thanks, stress). But if you routinely have issues sleeping, you might want to call the office to have your heart health checked.
5. Healthy pulse rate
Taking your pulse is one of the simplest things you can do to monitor your heart health on your own. It’s easy to do, takes a minute or less, doesn’t require any special equipment, and you can do it anywhere.
A healthy heart rate is between 60-100 beats per minute, with slower pulses typically associated with better fitness (assuming you have good overall health). Other factors can affect your heart rate, too, like the air temperature, your emotions, and the medications you’re taking. At your next office visit, ask your provider about the optimal target heart rate for you.
Keeping your heart healthy
Knowing the signs of a healthy — and unhealthy — heart is one of the best ways to make sure you get medical care when it’s needed. Having routine physicals is also critically important, since the signs and symptoms of heart disease can be difficult to detect on your own.
To learn more about heart health, including steps you can take to keep your heart healthy, book an appointment online or over the phone at our offices in Germantown, Maryland, or Alexandria or Woodbridge, Virginia, today.