How to keep your Heart Healthy
With our busy schedule and endless work we often fail to listen to what our heart signals. Today heart problems have grown so bad that Cardiovascular Diseases are the number 1 cause of death globally. Lifestyle, stress, workloads, eating habits, pollution, etc. are the main reason for heart problems at a young age. Due to our non-stop work pressure, we either don’t find time to take care of our health or we tend to ignore it. As they say, precaution is always better than cure, here are simple tips to follow in day to day’s routine to keep your Heart Healthy.
If you are diagnosed with any heart related or other medical condition then we suggest you follow the routine specified by your doctor.
1. Exercise Regularly
The heart is a muscular organ which pumps blood to each and every organ of your body. As we all know that exercise strengthens other muscles in the body, it also helps heart muscle become stronger and efficient. Simple aerobic exercise can strengthen your heart muscle, reduce the risk of heart attack, lowers blood pressure and bad cholesterol, helps in maintaining body mass index, keeps you active and also improves your mood. Aerobic exercise also helps in burning extra calories and improves blood circulation.
Aerobic exercise includes walking, jogging, running, cycling, dancing and swimming. A 20-30 min of walking, running and jogging every day can improve heart health, reduce obesity, help in maintaining blood pressure and also reduce stress. You should maintain a comfortable and steady pace while running or walking. If you’re a beginner then you can alternate between 5 minutes of running and 5 minutes of walking to start. To stay injury-free, always do a warm-up and use jogging shoes. Swimming and cycling for 20-30 mins also improve cardiovascular fitness, cholesterol levels, and helps in weight control.
However, if you have a medical condition then do concern with your doctor before taking up the exercise.
2. Heart Healthy Diet
Eat plenty of nutrient-rich food like green leafy vegetables, fruits, beans, whole grains, fish, Heart, low-fat dairy products, etc. A healthy diet reduces the risk of developing cardiovascular disease by a great extent. Food rich in Omega-3 fatty acids may decrease triglycerides, lower blood pressure, reduce blood clotting, decrease stroke and heart failure risk and reduce irregular heartbeats. Fish oil supplement is widely used to protect against heart disease.
Keep your body properly hydrated. Drinking a glass of water before bed reduces the risk of heart failure and helps in getting sound sleep. Proper water intake also helps in maintaining the blood pressure level.
Too much sodium consumption can increase blood pressure level, leading to a higher risk of developing heart disease or a stroke. One teaspoon of salt contains about 2,300 mg of sodium and that’s the maximum per day consumption you can have, however, try to reduce it to 1/2 teaspoon. Avoid fast food, deep-fried food, processed meat, Soft drinks, sugar-sweetened juices, Pastries, Cookies, Cakes and other food high in sodium or sugar.
3. Maintain Dental Health
Some recent studies show that having poor dental health increases the risk of heart diseases. Bacterial inflammation in the gums can eventually damage the arteries. Brushing your teeth twice a day may lower the risk of cardiovascular diseases and strokes.
4. Get Enough Sleep
Good quality sleep is essential for the proper functioning of the brain and heart. A good 6-8 hours sleep regulates your blood pressure and heart rate by reducing the workload of the heart. Sleeping too little raises the risk of various chronic conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity, and depression. On the other hand, too much sleep increases the risk of heart diseases by 5%, a new study suggests
5. Quit Smoking
Smoking is very bad for heart health. It reduces the amount of oxygen in the blood and clogs the blood vessel causing atherosclerosis. Smoking also increases the stiffness of the blood vessels and reduces heart efficiency. These changes to the arteries can cause a heart attack, stroke or angina. Second-hand or passive smoke can cause heart disease in non-smokers. Prolong exposure to smoke damages your arteries increasing the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
Quit smoking as early as you can. Proper medical guidance combined with strong will power is all you need to quit the smoking habit. It’s very common to experience breathing and circulatory issues after quitting. Start breathing yoga to overcome the aftereffects of quitting.
6. Have a normal Body Mass Index
Maintain the recommended BMI to avoid the risk of cardiovascular diseases. A BMI of less than 18.5 means that a person is underweight, BMI of between 18.5 and 25 is ideal. A BMI of between 25 and 30 is overweight, and a person with a BMI over 30 is considered obese. The higher your BMI, the greater is the risks of heart disease, stroke, hypertension, and diabetes. Although, BMI is not the only parameter of measuring health or physiological state.
7. Laugh out loud
Do what makes you happy, travel, watch funny movies, keep your mood light and stay stress-free. You will feel healthy from inside. This affects the functioning of your brain and heart in a good way. Stay away from unnecessary arguments. Move out of your room whenever you feel depressed, take a short walk, go swimming or play any other sport you like. This will reduce the stress level to great extend improving your mood and overall health.
8. Do not sit for long in one place
Sitting at one place for hours loosens and weakens the muscles in the body and also increases the risk of chronic health problems, such as heart disease, obesity, and diabetes. It is advisable to stand for at least 15 min an hour. You have to be moving to keep yourself healthy. Take an hourly break, go for a short walk- may be in the balcony or corridor, go out for lunch break, etc. This will keep you more fit.
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