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5 lifestyle choices you must make for avoiding heart attack

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

/ by Hadiqa Ahmed

5 lifestyle choices you must make for avoiding heart attack

Cardiovascular diseases continue to be the commonest illnesses, affecting the health of individuals. Heart care is often compromised by the poor lifestyle choices made earlier in life. A research conducted on the prevalence of heart diseases showed that cardiac problems account for 31% of the total diseases encountered in hospitals around the world.

It is therefore stressed to be vigilant when adopting certain habits in daily life. Studies reveal that smart lifestyle choices can add up to 10 years in your life. However, most people either choose to stay aloof to this fact or are not aware of the consequences of adopting bad habits.

Picture source: https://www.bhf.org.uk/informationsupport/conditions/myocarditis

Here are 5 lifestyle choices you must make for avoiding heart attack and maintain good cardiac care.

1. Exercise regularly to strengthen the muscles of your heart

Physical activity helps in maintaining the longevity of muscles and plays a role in relaxing the mind. Only 28% of Americans practice exercise, reducing their chances to experience a heart attack.

Along with improving muscle activity, exercise increases blood circulation and leads to higher oxygen blood levels. Oxygen enhances the function of the brain and other organs. It is believed that adequate oxygen supply to the brain can boost cognitive skills.  

Moreover, It is frequently advised to diabetic people to exercise, to keep their blood sugar levels in control. The benefits of exercise are extensive and can not be compressed under a single heading.

2. Consume a diet rich in high density lipid 

The types of cholesterol are to be clearly understood before advancing towards a low cholesterol diet. Not every cholesterol has an adverse effect on health. High density Lipid (HDL) is essential for the recycling of low density lipid (LPD) or bad cholesterol. 

HDL transports LDL to the liver, where it is effectively metabolized. A diet low in HDL can actually increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Hence, it is recommended to keep a check on the amount of HDL taken per day. Low levels of HDL can be regained by avoiding cigarettes, maintaining a healthy weight and exercising regularly. 

An HDL level of 60 milligrams/deciliter (mg/dL) is healthy and must be maintained. Levels below 40 milligrams/deciliter (mg/dL) should be corrected as soon as possible, to eradicate the chances of heart disease.

3. Eat vegetables and fruits to gain antioxidants

We all have seen food advertisements, claiming to have anti oxidants in their food items. But why exactly foods with antioxidants, are marketed this extensively?

The reason for this is the property of antioxidants to eliminate reactive oxygen species (ROS). These species accumulate in cells and cause apoptosis (cell death). Apoptosis is a normal physiological process when activated within limits. An excessive collection of ROS can increase cell death rate and hence causes havoc.

Moreover, ROS have the ability to incorporate mutations in DNA and leads to the development of different cancers. Antioxidants found in vegetables and fruits can effectively reduce the population of ROS. A reduction in this species leads to a long lifespan of cells.

4. Quit smoking to live a problem free life

A wide variety of studies have established the fact that tobacco smoke is responsible for a range of cancers and chronic conditions. Tobacco slows down the healing process of tissues, allows fat deposition in vessels and is the chief cause of atherosclerosis (fatty plaque).

Most coronary artery bypass, are performed in patients who are heavy smokers. A study done by Surgeon General’s report, disclosed that cigarette smoking caused over 12 million deaths in 1964-2004. The casualties reported were due to lung cancer and ongoing heart diseases.

Several rehabilitation centres are set up to help smokers in quitting this sickening habit. However, the success in quitting smoking is achieved by personal will power and restraint. The best way to avoid a heart illness is to keep away from falling into the trap of giving a try to smoking the first time.

5. Keep your mental health in consideration

Mental health is as crucial as physical health. The stigma attached to getting mental help, often demotivates people to seek psychotherapy. A long standing mental instability such as depression or anxiety, builds up stress hormone levels in the blood.

The stress hormone: cortisol causes weight gain in people suffering from chronic depression. In addition to this, an unpredicted bad news can trigger the advancement of cardiac arrest. 

Cortisol can alter or alleviate functions of reproductive and immune systems. Reduction in immune responses leaves the body susceptible to other conditions that are effectively handled in stress free people.

Hence, it is  immensely stressed upon to adopt practices that aid in the improvement of heart health and overall well-being. These 5 lifestyle choices will help you in initiating healthier options and adopt further habits that are beneficial for your heart.

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