healthier heart

Top 10 Tips for a Healthier Heart

One of the hardest working organs in your body that you may not even realize is your heart.

Throughout the day, the heart pumps blood and oxygen that your body needs to function well. It needs to be at 100% at all times. Thus, even the slightest change in blood pressure or your cholesterol levels could potentially be linked to your heart. When that happens, you might need to make some changes in your lifestyle and nutrition.

Before you even have to fully overhaul your diet and habits, it’s good to take care of this important muscle as early as now. With only a few, small adjustments in what you eat and the way you manage stress, it could drastically improve your overall health.

In this article, Cognitive Health and Wellness Institute suggests ways on how you can take better care of your heart. Give these tips serious consideration especially if you’re already feeling symptoms of a weak heart.

How to keep your heart healthy

Whenever your doctors tell you to re-think your unhealthy choices in life, take that to heart (literally!). The food and drinks you tend to choose can be the culprit in causing artery buildup in your heart. In the long run, these tips can be beneficial to decrease the risks of heart failure. 

1. Give up vices, especially smoking
smoking bad for heart

Smoking is bad for your heart and lungs. According to the CDC, smoking is a major cause of cardiovascular diseases. As a result, more than 800,000 people a year died due to cardiovascular diseases. Also, in the US alone, almost 8 million had a heart attack (2014 data, report) 7 million had a stroke.

When you’re exposed to tobacco smoke, plaque builds up in the narrow vessels in your blood. Hence, less blood can flow. Your heart loses oxygen when a clot forms in these narrow vessels around the artery of your heart. Therefore, this can cause a heart attack.

Needless to say, this means you should avoid secondhand smoke, too, as much as you possibly can. Even if you’ve been a long-time smoker, as soon as you quit smoking, you can see significant changes in your health. You can even lower the risk of further damage in your lungs and heart, as well as other bodily functions.

Limit your alcohol intake, too. If at all possible, only do so occasionally. Lastly, say no to drugs. A combination of these vices can really take its toll on your body. Taking prohibited drugs can lead to substance disorders, thereby causing adverse effects in your circulatory and cardiovascular systems. 

2. Eat more fiber

The benefits of a high-fiber diet are related to lower cholesterol levels. You can eat soluble fiber that helps lower the low-density lipoprotein which is responsible for “bad” cholesterol. Some good sources of fiber are oats, beans, legumes, nuts and seeds, fruits, vegetables, and whole-grain products.

Avoid processed and refined foods because they are typically low in fiber. For men, the daily recommended fiber intake is 38g (age <50) and 30g (age >51). On the other hand, it is 25g (age <50) and 21g (age>51) for women.

3. Eat healthy fats. Cut down on saturated / trans fat

Good fats can be found in safflower, canola, and olive oils. “Bad” fats, however, can be found in saturated fats and trans fats. Cut down on butter, cheese, fatty meats, and partially hydrogenated oils in your meals.

healthy fats for the heart

4. Keep moving. Sit less. 

When offices were forced to shut down due to covid-19 safety protocols, you’re probably one of those who had to work from home. At this point, you should have invested in a workspace or a dedicated area in your place. But, this setup may have kept you glued into the computer all day. 

With that said, it’s easy to just take everything close to you and not stand at all. That’s a recipe for an extremely sedentary lifestyle. Hence, to counter that, even if you’re working from home, try not to sit for too long at extended periods of time. Get active, stretch, and get up every once in a while.

Move for the heart

5. Cut down on salt / sodium

Choose unprocessed and whole foods more than salty and sodium-rich alternatives. What really happens when you cut down on salt and sodium, you ask? It lowers your blood pressure because the amount of fluid in your blood decreases. Note that too much salt or sodium causes your body to hold extra water so that it can “wash” that salt away. That extra work inside your body puts a lot of stress on your heart.

less salt for the heart

According to the World Health Organization, the recommended salt intake for adults should only be less than 5 g or under 1 teaspoon of salt per day. Imagine the amount of salt you put in your food when you cook, right? Not to mention the salty snack foods, ready meals, instant noodles, and processed meats you consume.

6. Practice good dental hygiene

Are you hypertensive? Did you know that gum disease can interfere with hypertension medications? Hence, it’s more difficult to monitor and control blood pressure which is crucial for your heart health.

oral hygiene for the heart

Both cardiologists and dentists recommend brushing at least twice a day to improve oral health and lower the risk of cardiovascular diseases. It’s a basic hygienic practice that could prevent heart valve infections linked to poor dental health.

7. Monitor your blood pressure and cholesterol levels regularly

Speaking of hypertension, high blood pressure is closely associated with high cholesterol. It is harder for the heart to pump blood when your arteries harden due to cholesterol plaque. Often, calcium also builds up in these arteries which results in abnormally high blood pressure levels.


In this study, researchers found a positive association between heart rate, blood pressures, triglycerides, blood glucose and blood cholesterol. 

8. Manage your weight

Now, does weight affect your heart? Yes. Obesity elevates the risk of circulatory and heart diseases because fatty materials build up in your arteries. If you are overweight, you are at serious risk of developing health problems such as high blood pressure, certain cancers, and heart problems.

Although for some, other factors come in that contribute to either adding or gaining weight. These are family history and genetics, environment, habits, and metabolism. Regardless, a good indicator to measure whether you have healthy weight is your body mass index. You can reach out to your doctor if you have further questions.

9. Get enough sleep

Sleep, especially these days, is now becoming more of a luxury. But, it’s something that you shouldn’t be taking for granted. Sleep is an essential part of life because your body repairs itself as you rest. Having a good night’s sleep increases your energy levels during the day so you can function normally and at your best.

CDC’s recommended hours for sleep is at least 7 hours for adults. Anything less (or more) than that can be detrimental to your health, including your heart. If you have sleep apnea, for instance, this could be an indication of heart failure because the airway is blocked during sleep. This condition affects how much oxygen your body gets, thereby, can potentially lead to stroke and heart attack. 

sleep for the heart

Insomnia is another sleep condition where you’re either having difficulty staying or falling asleep. This lack of sleep and irregularity in your rest schedule can hurt your heart, block your blood vessels, and make you restless during the day.

In order to get better sleep, you have to train your body to stick to a regular schedule. Start by setting an alarm for when you’re supposed to be in bed in the evening and when you should wake up. It should be the same every single morning for the entire week.

During the day, try going out to get natural light or go for a walk under the sun. Lessen your screen time especially when you’re already lying down. Avoid eating or drinking before bed time and set up your room conducive for sleep. For example, use low, warm lights and keep it cool and quiet.

10. Hydrate more 
hydrate for the heart

Stay hydrated. Your heart can pump blood better when you are well-hydrated. In fact, those with heart problems are advised to have proper hydration to decrease strain in the heart. Drink 8 glasses of water each day and add some more especially when it’s a hotter, more humid day. Also, try to replace sugary and carbonated drinks you would normally drink with water.Not only is proper hydration good for your heart but also for your brain and overall health and wellness.

Dos and don’ts

To sum up, here are the do’s and don’ts to a healthy heart so you can easily remember:

  • Do
    • Exercise
    • Eat a healthy, balanced diet (good for the heart)
    • Maintain a healthy weight
    • Manage stress well
    • Have regular health checks
    • Sleep
  • Don’t
    • Eat too much sodium, salt
    • Smoke tobacco
    • Sit for hours, all day
    • Drink alcohol excessively
    • Skip meals and stay up late all night

How to take care of your heart naturally

As you take your fitness journey more seriously, you are inevitably adding extra care for your heart, too. Know that heart diseases are mostly preventable. By eating a heart-healthy diet, you are naturally making your heart strong and well. If you’re gaining some pounds especially when holidays are approaching, add physical activities in your life so you can lose those extra calories. 

If, however, you are on medication, don’t skip it. Get immediate care from health professionals who can help reverse heart diseases through cardiac rehabilitation, if possible. Make your heart a priority! A healthy heart is a happy heart! 


fitness bikes

Top 10 Fitness Bikes

Are you considering indoor biking but don’t know where to start? Do you want to squeeze in some workouts but have limited time? Fitness bikes might help you with that. 

One of the best recommended aerobic exercises is biking. It’s good for the heart and lungs and promotes cardiovascular health. However, if you can’t afford to go out a lot, the next best thing is indoor biking. Give this a spin and get ready to sweat, and feel your blood pumping. 

Indoor cycling improves heart health, sheds unwanted fats, and boosts muscle strength. This activity will surely work your legs, and tone them to be stronger. It’s also an opportunity to engage in a full-body exercise. You’ll also benefit from the endorphins your body will produce so buckle up and find the right fitness bike for you!

In this article, Cognitive Health and Wellness Institute aims to guide you in your search for the best fitness bike. So, check this list of the highly-commended fitness bikes and start incorporating them into your fitness routine!

What to look for in fitness bikes

When is a fitness bike good?

Before we start listing down the best fitness bikes available in the market, it is important to look at the different aspects you should assess when choosing the best one for you. Answer this question – how advanced do you want your fitness bike to be? 

Once you have set realistic expectations, you are ready to shop for a fitness bike. These are some of the important details to check:



It doesn’t matter whether you’re going all the way, or modest in buying a fitness bike – there are basic features this equipment should have. These are resistance levels, speed, distance, comfort, adjustment, optional accessories, weight limit, noise, and safety.

Budget / Price

Fitness bikes are almost an investment for they can be a big purchase. How much are you willing to spend on this? The price range may go from about $300 to $3000. If you only want to spin your legs and break a sweat without having to analyze your burnt calories, heart rate, and power, then you wouldn’t burn a hole in your pocket.


How do you want your fitness bike? Would you want it seated or standing? 

When you are standing while cycling, you set your bike to high resistance, which means you have to exert more effort in working out. You have to incorporate more of your muscles and increase your energy output to pedal more.

You can turn the resistance down when you sit down while cycling to give your legs and core some rest. 

Reflect on your objective. Why do you want to cycle? Is it for extensive training or the other? It would be easier for you to pick which stationary bike is appropriate for you when you know your why.


Bike pedaling speed, also known as cadence, is a crucial part of indoor cycling. You can monitor it with a speedometer. Your resistance level dictates how fast you’d go, but the most ideal is from 50 to 110 rpm. Ensure that the equipment you’re eyeing can handle the setting you require to perform optimally.


Learning distance per minute is another way to maximize a fitness bike. Your fitness equipment should have a precise odometer that displays the distance you’ve covered. Manufacturers program this feature based on their formula. Compare distance and speed and maximize your biking.


The last thing you’d need in your fitness journey is equipment that you can’t operate smoothly. The same is also true for a bike. Thus, in choosing what to buy, make sure to check if the brand provides a simple interface that allows users to manipulate settings easily.

The best fitness bikes

The interest in fitness bikes continues. It becomes even more popular in the cold weather. Thus, it is not surprising that different fitness bikes grace the market each time. Among the positively reviewed ones are the following:

Best Recumbent Bike: Schwinn 270 Recumbent Bike

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Rating: 5 stars

Price: $649

Users love to call the Schwinn 270 the best Recumbent Bike that you can get from the market. It is adaptable for both novice and fitness gurus and includes functional features to elevate your workout. If you are up for challenging programs and levels, this equipment has 29 different workout modes with precise heart rate control.

Schwinn 270 also features 25 levels of workout intensity and resistance, high speed and inertia system with a  17-pound flywheel for a smooth and consistent workout, in-sole speakers, useful Bluetooth and USB data transfer, media shelf, cooling fan, water bottle, and transport wheels. 

Its DualTrack LCD window system allows you to see relevant data in your ride like speed, time, distance, heart rate, calories, level, resistance, and revolutions per minute. Schwinn has a comfortable seat that you can ride for an hour while watching Netflix without noticing the time. Overall, this fitness bike is more affordable with positive customer reviews.

Best Value Smart Bike: Nautilus R616 Recumbent Bike

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Rating: 4.6 of 5

Price: $599.9

The Nautilus R616 Recumbent Bike is a piece of generous equipment considering its price. 

This model is the entry-level bike of the said brand. Its highlight is its diverse workout programs, resistance levels, and Bluetooth connectivity.

There isn’t any remarkable difference between this and the high-end R618. The upgrades are subtle, such as the gel seat cushion and the adjustable backrest. Other than those, the R616 still competes with its solid pros like the durable step-thru frame, comfortable seat, 29 workout programs, 25 resistance levels, easy set-up, dual LCDs, and the 30-lb weight capacity.

Most reviews praise this unit for its wide and cozy seat. Its modern and sleek design is also notable. You can train without programming! You can make your cycles even more challenging by setting your resistance level. The RideSocial App is also a feature that walks you through various scenic routes around the world. 

Most Flexible Bike: NordicTrack Commercial S22i Studio Cycle

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Rating: 5 out of 5

Price: $1,499

The NordicTrack Commercial S22i Studio Cycle boasts a massive rotating touch screen, a responsive resistance control system, and an automatic incline which are friendly to both first-timers and pros. Its 22-inch HD touch screen will take you for a ride, and its 360-degree adjustable viewing angle won’t make you feel alone in your workouts. 

Riding in stationary bikes often feels like you’re going nowhere, but that’s what sets this fitness bike apart from the rest. With NordicTrack, you can cycle in the Colorado mountains, wander in the waterfalls of Hawaii, and stroll in the century ruins of Turkey. This is an opportunity for you to enjoy trainer-led outdoor activities that would advance your rides. 

If you need motivation, the on-demand cycling classes with iFit will help you with that. It will allow you to mix your routines once in a while. This fitness bike is also not only for spinning as it also includes upper-body exercises with a pair of three-pound dumbbells upon purchase. 

Best Smart Bike: Bowflex VeloCore Bike

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Rating: 4 out of 5

Price: $1,699 – $2,199

Bowflex VeloCore Bike doesn’t only focus on your legs, but your full body as well. This fitness bike provides features beyond indoor exercise.s For instance, you can sway your ride side-to-side through the Lean Mode as if you’re riding a traditional bike. This allows you to engage your arms and core. 

While you’d have to pay an extra for the membership, Bowflex has a platform for an evolving library of trainer-led videos, with Adaptive Workouts so that you can exercise based on your fitness situation. It also includes rich entertainment options that are the best for people who easily get bored exercising constantly.

Most Sophisticated Experience: Peloton Bike

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Rating: 4 out of 5

Price: $1,895

If you are looking for a premium experience throughout, the Peloton Bike is an extraordinary piece of equipment for you. This comes with a top-notch display with a 24-inch screen. Besides its engaging instructors and immersive classes, the unit also has a saddle that swivels as you exercise. This opens an outdoor virtual world to get you even motivated.

Peloton has effortlessly become a household name since the pandemic. The company advanced its features and backs it up with a high-quality streaming service to support its users. You just need to be willing to spend more on the membership to access this.

The Best Peloton Alternative: MYX II Fitness Bike

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Rating: 4 out of 5

Price: $1, 399.00

MYX II is a high-tech exercise bike that will not only work out your legs but your whole body too. This brand is the closest rival of Peltron, however, the difference is that it costs less. The magnificent quality of the touch screen is what will provide you the personal trainer feel that would help you maximize your ride. 

Almost half of the price of its competitor, MYX II lives up to the expectations of fitness buffs. It has revolutionized monitoring as it makes it more personalized. Thus, the unit comes with heart-rate-based workouts that best fit individuals who want to stay in shape with the help of an instructor who will lead the activity. 

Train your body and mind with MYX II Fitness Bike. Enjoy its sleek and interactive 21.5” touchscreen tablet to enhance your workout experience. Maximize its additional accessories, exercise gear, and monthly subscriptions that will get you the most of the equipment.

Best Bike System: Assault AirBike Elite

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Rating: 4.4 out of 5

Price: $1299

One of the highlights of the Assault AirBike Elite is that it increases resistance as you turn up its speed which further engages your upper and lower body during the ride. This brand has a forward and backward pedal function to give your cycling more variation. 

If you love to monitor where you have been in your fitness journey, the Assault AirBike Elite is the right bike for you. The two front wheels are interactive enough to replicate the feeling that you are moving around a house or a gym. The multiple position grips is also an engaging inclusion as it provides more comfort when you pedal. 

With the Assault AirBike Elite, expect a bike with a solid steel frame, a spacious and supportive seat, a durable unit that holds at least 350 pounds, and an integrated LCD that accurately projects your performance data. You can stretch your workouts with its hiiit programs too!

Best home exercise bike for streaming workouts: ProForm Studio Bike Pro

Image source: Best home exercise bike for streaming workouts: ProForm Studio Bike Pro

Rating: 4 out of 5

Price: 1,299.00

ProForm Studio Bike Pro has a detailed 10” touchscreen that projects sharp graphics. iFit Health and Fitness powers this durable and well-engineered machine that balances price and quality. This high-end model with a 22” Smart HD Touchscreen Display is useful in your rides, and it swivels so that you can adjust it when you want to warm up, meditate, or work out. 

The iFit Coach comes with LiveCast spine class videos that are effective in getting the right guidance from a trainer. ProForm has a 30-day Family Membership that comes with your purchase. Its HD Touchscreen Display is also one of the biggest in the market. This results in an interactive display that smoothly integrates Google Maps Street Views in your rides. 

The advanced cycle trainer of this bike serves as its selling point. Your instructor will not only be there to show you what to do, but they’ll also have control over your resistance level and location. You just have to download the app on your iOS or Android device. The coaching also includes early wake-up notifications and estimated calorie burn while you are asleep.

Most Innovative Smart Bike: Rogue Echo Bike

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Rating: 4.6 out of 5

Price: $795

The Rogue Echo Bike features a pair of movable handlebars and pedals that are also effective in full-body workouts. This durable and strong model is made of a steel frame that has a smooth, coating finish to match the experience. Since a belt-drive system powers Rogue Echo, it runs quietly.  

If you love stationary workouts but want the idea of moving, this brand is simply maneuverable. Its wheels will give you the experience that you are not just stuck in the same place. Moreover, its LCD console effortlessly projects heart rate, distance, and calories out. You can customize its interval setting to plan your workouts according to your needs.

This air bike is far from the usual stationary indoor bikes. While it is effective for low-impact cardio, its movable handlebars will change the experience for you. Its rower will push you to give your best. If you want it faster, pedal harder! You can do this with its resistance adjustment!

Best Air Bike: Concept2 BikeErg

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Rating: 4.4 out of 5

Price: $1,163.97

This model is the perfect fitness bike for traditional cyclists who want to replicate the ride they have outdoors in the comforts of their homes. 

BikeErg is durable and efficient equipment that applies the principles of a traditional bike to powerful equipment. This sport-based ergometer uses the Performance Monitor and flywheel that result in a smooth and quiet ride. 

Its sophisticated and stylish Performance Monitor provides instant feedback to your performance, and it effectively displays the workouts you can pick from. This screen has undergone calibration so that you can compare your rides from your previous exercises and evaluate if you are making progress. This unit is suitable both for professional and commercial use! 

How do you choose the best fitness bike for you?

In the end, your choice of fitness bike is still greatly affected by your personal goals in mind. All of these brands would help improve your cardiovascular health, tone your muscles, and burn your unwanted fats. What are your objectives from these? One model may be an expert of a certain aspect over the other. Choose well! Keep calm and pedal on!