Five Lifestyle Changes for a Healthy Heart

Friday, May 1, 2020

/ by Dr Vishal Zahra
You can greatly improve your heart health by these lifestyle changes. They are not difficult to implement. You just have to get out of your comfort zone and work for a healthy future and long life. A healthy heart is a key to life, and these five lifestyle changes are crucial to achieving it


Physical activity:

Getting out of a sedentary lifestyle is very important if you want to improve your heart health. A sedentary lifestyle is one of the major lifestyle factors that lead to cardiovascular disease. Physical activity has a positive impact on all the systems of your body and not just the heart. The heart is a muscle, and physical activity strengthens the heart muscles. It improves the heart’s ability to pump blood and efficiency of the heart is greatly improved. Blood flow all around your body increases, and it helps supply oxygen properly to every cell of your body. Exercising can also eliminate other major risk factors for heart disease, such as weight and blood pressure. Exercise keeps your weight within normal limits and prevents blood pressure from getting high. At least 30 to 60 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise 3 to 5 days per week is recommended for all. If you can’t do more, you can at least try this. Doing this greatly reduces your chance of having a cardiovascular event. Heart attack symptoms in women are different than men, so they should be monitored wisely to avoid any mishap. Physical activity also helps in reduction of chances to rheumatic heart disease like rheumatic fever, coronary collapse, symptoms of heart problems and infectious heart conditions.


Healthy eating:

You have heard the phrase “you are what you eat”. Yes, that’s true. If you eat healthy foods, you are going to be healthy. If you eat unhealthily, you will be unhealthy in your life. Controlling your diet helps in preventing cardiovascular diseases, promoting heart health and living a healthy life. Some healthy foods to eat for a healthy heart are fruits and vegetables because they have more minerals and vitamins, and they have fewer calories. Limit your intake of sweets, bakery products, sodas, saturated fat, Trans fat, sodium and red meat. Instead go for whole grains, salads and homemade foods. Physical activity and healthy eating also help in the reduction of chances to rheumatic heart disease like rheumatic fever, coronary collapse, symptoms of heart problems and infectious heart conditions.


Avoid Smoking:

Smoking is a very unhealthy habit. It affects every organ of the body and not just the heart. Cigarettes are made up of numerous harmful chemicals that affect our heart badly. Smoking can make your arteries sticky, so the fatty material sticks to the time to time, and when an artery is blocked by this fatty material ultimately, it can prove deadly. For example, if this blockage happens to the artery that carries blood to the heart, a heart attack occurs, and if it happens to the artery that carries the blood to the brain, it causes a stroke.  It is a preventable cause of heart diseases. Avoid tobacco smoke if you want to keep your heart healthy and live longer with a disease-free life. The best way is never to start smoking. If you do, stop right away. It doesn’t matter if you have been smoking for years, quitting can still benefit you in many ways and its always better to quit than to continue damaging your body. 


Managing stress:

Stress affects your heart in a negative way. By managing stress levels in your body, you can keep your heart healthy and prevent it from diseases. Make your life simple and adopt coping abilities. Stress can also lead to unhealthy habits too like over-eating, smoking and less physical activity. Stress management techniques are crucial to getting your heart on track.


Routine checkup:

Getting your blood pressure, lipid profile and glucose levels checked regularly is the key to early detection of heart-related issues. These are the risk factors that should be monitored regularly by routine checkup. Even if you have any of these problems, managing them with doctor’s advice and taking your medicines as prescribed can prevent cardiovascular events from happening.


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