When the heart is at ease, the body is healthy. Heart - beating 100,000 times a day, pumping 5 litres of blood and providing oxygen and nutrients to the body is the reason we are alive. We live till our heart lives. Often times, the heart doesn’t receive the attention and care it requires and hence its an organ taken for granted especially by youngsters. It is mostly after the age of 40 that we discover and develop blood pressure and/or blood-related issues and that is when we become responsible and start taking precautions to maintain a healthy heart. Since Precaution is better than Medication, it is advisable for all to give utmost attention and priority towards this small fist-sized organ. It’s never too late for an individual to start taking responsibility for one’s body and opt for smart choices that will lead to a healthy life. There are many ways in which we can prevent risking our heart of which 5 important ones are mentioned in this article.
AVOID UNHEALTHY FOOD
The food you eat can either be the safest and most powerful form of medicine or the slowest form of poison. In our fast city lives, we often consume junk and fast food which can cause risk factors for a host of heart conditions. These food items consist high amount of saturated, trans fats, sodium which take a toll on your heart. So to have a healthy heart, you need to adopt healthy food habits and to always keep a check on what you is on your plate.
The colour of the food is descriptive of its nutrition content. Different coloured foods give us a host of nutrients required for a healthy heart. Eat at least 4 servings of fruits and vegetables per day to meet your daily requirements of vitamins and minerals. Along with fruits and vegetables, dry fruits and nuts should also be a part of your daily meals. Nuts like almonds and walnuts contain omega 3 fatty acids that help to regulate your bad cholesterol levels. Foods low in saturated fats, trans fat and sodium are highly recommended.
No matter what your age, now is the right time to change your eating habits and opt for a healthier one.
Every cigarette you smoke takes seven minutes off your life. It doesn’t matter if you smoke a cigarette a day or a packet of it, smoking has already started its bad effects on your body. Nicotine directly and instantly affects your nervous system causing elevated heart rate along with the narrowing of blood vessels and blood sugar elevation.
According to studies, smoking is the topmost controllable risk factor for a host of disease conditions. Quitting smoking is something you can gift yourself for a better tomorrow. Cigarette smoking increases your blood pressure and puts you at risk for heart attack and stroke. There can’t be any second thoughts about quitting smoking, it will make a huge difference to your body.
An active smoker doesn’t only cause harm to you but also to passive smokers around you.
REMAIN PHYSICALLY ACTIVE
In this day and age, many of us have a sedentary lifestyle mostly due to the work and profession we are in. You may find sedentary lifestyle cool for you, but it’s high time you need to look after yourself. Exercise helps in proper blood circulation in your body and strengthens your heart and maintains the health of your heart. It is not necessary that only obese people develop cardiac problems, even people with a normal BMI and low physical activity can get heart problems. Overweight or underweight, exercise is a must. Indulging in physical activity for at least an hour every day is what your body needs.
You can involve yourself in a variety of physical activity like cycling, walking, yoga, sports activity, weight training, cardio exercises, etc.
SAY NO TO CRASH DIET
Losing your excess weight is really important for your body but losing it the right way is what is essential. Following crash diets that restrict you from eating certain foods is harmful to your body. This is so because; after you are off this crash diet you gain your previous weight easily. Researchers suggest that losing and gaining weights frequently can increase the risk for coronary heart disease and in some conditions, it may lead to sudden cardiac death.
So, if you are looking for any weight loss regimen, it should be such that you can opt for healthy food. Avoid indulging in such crash diet programs which later proves to be unhealthy.
In this day and age we sleep very little and work way too much. Working late nights and depriving yourself from that 8 hour sleep is harmful for your body. The new trends of late night clubbing are creating havoc inside your body that you are unaware of. Studies have confirmed that people who sleep for less than 7 hours are more at risk for coronary heart disease than those who sleep for 8 hours. Sleep deprivation leads to hormonal fluctuation causing blood pressure and sometimes obesity. It can also slow your metabolism leading to weight gain.
Maintain a proper sleeping pattern, so that your body stays healthy inside out.
You may know how to protect your heart, but still sometimes end up doing some goofups that is unhealthy for your heart. So please keep a check on your lifestyle to have a healthy heart.
I would like to conclude with a quote by Thomas Fuller – “Health is not valued till sickness come”.
Value your health and adopt healthy lifestyle lifelong.
Inputs by CARER Clinical Nutritionist – Priya Kataria