Top 10 Simple Tips For Healthy Heart
Heart disease is the number one killer in both men and women in India. However, many of these deaths can be prevented with appropriate precautions. Change is an essential component when trying to prevent or stay safe from heart disease. For most, prevention of heart disease depends very much on their lifestyle. An increase in blood pressure or cholesterol is an indicator that healthy lifestyle changes are needed.
Change does not mean a significant transformation. You can potentially improve heart health with several small changes. Once you start, you will find that change isn’t too difficult. This approach can take longer but works best in the long run.
Our Cardiologist offers ten tips for maintaining your cardiovascular health. You don’t have to follow all ten steps immediately. Even if you improve in one or two of these areas, you can significantly reduce the risk of heart disease. The more tips you follow from this list, the better.
So let’s get started.
Top 10 Simple Tips for a healthy heart:
1. Understand your risk:
People with high blood pressure or cholesterol, diabetes, obesity, or a history of smoking or heart disease in their families have an increased risk of heart disease. Men are more likely to experience heart problems after age 45, while women tend to have a higher risk after they attain menopause.
Discuss all individual risk factors that you are concerned about with your doctor during your annual physical checkup. They can recommend you to consult a cardiologist or take additional diagnostics tests.
2. Go for routine Health checkups:
If you suffer from heart disease, contact your doctor as directed and do not miss an appointment. It might be useful to write a list of questions before your visit. There might have been new concerns between appointments, such as new symptoms which you must discuss with your doctor.
3. Monitor your cholesterol level:
High cholesterol levels can cause the formation of fat deposits called plaque in the arteries. This disease is called atherosclerosis. Arteries are a tube system that carries blood, oxygen, and other important nutrients from the heart throughout the body. If blood does not flow freely, the heart muscle can be damaged. Reduce cholesterol by limiting foods such as butter, red meat, cheese and cakes.
4. Maintain a healthy weight:
Packing extra pounds can increase your risk of heart disease. If you are overweight or obese, try losing weight by eating nutritious foods and exercising regularly. In particular, people who have excess fat around their stomach or a waist size of more than 35 inches for women and 40 inches for men are more likely to develop heart disease and diabetes.
If you are heavier than you should be, the risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol and type 2 diabetes is above average. You can maintain a healthy weight and lose those extra kilos if you follow these simple steps:
- Eat less sugar and saturated fats
- Reduce alcohol
- Eat more fruits and vegetables
- Do more exercises
5. Eat nutritious food:
Fill your plate with healthy foods, including lean proteins such as fish or chicken, whole grains, vegetables, and fruits. Avoid eating lots of salt, fat, cholesterol, and sugar. Avoid processed foods such as frozen foods and foods that are often filled with salt. Avoid sugary drinks like soda and juice that can increase blood sugar and add extra calories. Nutritionists from Premier Hospital can help you make specific nutrition plans.
6. Fill a plate with fruits and vegetables:
Increase the amount of potassium in your diet by eating at least five servings of fruits and vegetables a day (potassium can help lower blood pressure). Nutrients in fruits and vegetables, including vitamins, minerals, and fibre can also help your heart health. Some fruits and vegetables that are rich in soluble fibre can also help lower cholesterol. These include citrus fruits, sweet potatoes, eggplants, mangoes, and most pulses and beans.
7. Stay active:
Plan for 30 minutes of exercise for at least five days a week. Cardiovascular exercise is anything that makes your heart beat faster, such as walking, swimming or cycling. Be sure to ask your doctor for permission before starting a new training & fitness plan.
Studies show that people who are not active experience heart attacks more often than those who are active.
8. Reduce stress:
Anxiety and depression can lead to unhealthy lifestyles that strain the heart. Relaxation techniques such as deep breathing or yoga and relaxing activities such as gardening or music can help reduce stress. Talk to a doctor if you have persistent feelings of sadness or anxiety.
If you enjoy the little things from everyday life, you can live healthier with healthier organs. To improve heart health, you should smile more often, listen to soothing music, read books, and take deep breaths to consume lots of oxygen. All of these help in relieving stress and pressure.
9. Get enough sleep:
Studies show that a person who does not have enough sleep has an increased risk of high blood pressure. It can also reduce your metabolism, making it difficult to lose weight. It’s very easy, but patients often forget the importance of good sleep. People at least need six to eight hours of sleep a night.
10. Check and control your blood pressure:
Make regular appointments with your doctor to keep your blood pressure under control. Usually, people should aim for blood pressure around 120/80. The higher your blood pressure, the harder your heart muscle works. This continuous strain on the heart can make the heart muscle weak over time or increase the risk of heart disease.
11. Stop smoking:
Smoking can increase blood pressure and the risk of blood clots and reduce your tolerance for exercise. Nearly one-third of all deaths due to coronary artery disease are caused by smoking and the effects of second-hand smoke.
Quitting smoking is the most important thing a person can do to live longer. After you stop smoking, the risk of a heart attack decreases. Smoking is a leading cause of cardiovascular disease. It not only damages the mucous membranes of your arteries, but it also reduces the amount of oxygen in your blood and increases your blood pressure.
Making such changes takes time and effort. Think about progress, not perfection, and reward yourself for every positive step you take. Ask your friends and family to support and join you. The future of your heart will be better!
It might be challenging to implement all the steps above at once. Premier Hospital Cardiologists recommend starting slowly and modifying your lifestyle. Start small by reducing smoking, one serving of fruits and vegetables a day, aerobic sessions for two days, etc. After you adapt to these changes, with motivation and commitment, you will make significant changes over time.
However, if you face several heart health complications, it is advisable to consult Premier Hospital Cardiologists, before proceeding with an action plan. Book an appointment by contacting us at +91-77020 01163 or book your appointment online.
Santosh Kumar Paila
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