How to Check Your Heart Health at Home
Heart diseases are quite a common scenario these days and are the major reason for the most recorded deaths. Thus, it is essential to pay attention to your heart health and keep a check on the same to stay heart-healthy. But how do you do a heart check-up at home? Here are a few tests that you can consider trying to monitor your heart health at home to determine whether you need a trip to your doctor's clinic:
Do you get breathless while walking up the stairs? It's time that you take up the stair test to check your heart health. It is said that a person with a healthy heart should not take more than one and a half minutes to climb four flights of stairs. If you are unable to ascend the stairs within the time limit mentioned, your heart health might be sub-optimal, and consulting a doctor is recommended for such people.
Keep a check on the heart rate
Your heartbeat rate or pulse stands to be a critical factor for determining heart health. You might have often seen doctors checking the pulse of the patient; you need to do exactly the same to check the functioning of your heart and your overall fitness. To examine your pulse rate at home, you need to place your middle finger and index finger of your right hand on the inner wrist of your left hand to feel the tapping sound of your heartbeat. Next, you need to take a second watch and count the number of taps or pulses for 10 seconds. The number of taps should be further multiplied by six to deduce the heartbeat rate for one minute. A normal pulse measures between 60 and 100 beats a minute, and if your heart beat rate is above or below the regular count, it's time that you seek medical consultation.
Doing aerobic exercises can also help in determining your heart health. Though this may not give very accurate results, such as stair tests and heart rate monitoring but is an indicator of your heart health. If you feel breathlessness even while performing light aerobic exercises, there is a high chance that you might have some underlying condition concerned with your heart. The same stands true when you experience fatigue and tiredness after performing such exercises because an adequate amount of oxygen does not reach the blood that runs down your muscles.
Signs and symptoms of an unhealthy heart
Here are a few signs that your heart is unhealthy and should be given immediate care:
- Shortness of breath
- Swollen feet
- Lack of stamina
- Discomfort in the chest
- Slow or racing heartbeat
- Left shoulder and left arm pain
- Heartburn or back pain
- Irregular heartbeats
- Sexual health issues
- Sleep apnoea
- Blue or pale grey skin colour
- Swollen ankles and lower legs
- Numbness, weakness
- Pain in toes
Tips to keep your heart healthy
A healthy heart calls for a healthy and active lifestyle. Here are a few tips that can help keep your heart healthy:
Little or no exercise can hike the chances of accruing heart disease. Thus, it is imperative for every individual to get themselves indulged in any type of exercise for at least 30 minutes a day to lower such heart health risks. Practicing low-impact exercises such as walking can help gain control over your blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and obesity, which aids in improving heart health. Other activities, such as swimming, jogging, HIIT, rowing, etc., also aid in strengthening the heart muscles and enhance the ability of the heart to do its job.
Dehydration can put unnecessary stress and strain on your heart because when you do not drink enough water, the volume of your blood (which has high water content) decreases and makes it difficult for the heart to distribute nutrient-rich and oxygenated blood to your body. On the contrary, staying hydrated is the key to the efficient functioning of the heart.
It is said that, on average, men should have at least 3.7, and women should consume at least 2.7 litres of water a day to keep their hearts functioning properly. The water requirement may vary based on the climate of the place you reside, body weight, activity level, and exposure to the sun.
Gain control over your blood pressure, cholesterol, and diabetes
Blood pressure and cholesterol can pose severe risks and can damage your heart. The same is the case with diabetes. Thus, it is important for every person having high cholesterol, BP, and blood sugar level to implement lifestyle changes and say no to sedentary habits to gain control over such issues.
Cut down on bad habits
Smoking is not just injurious to your health but also your heart as it can lead to blood vessel damage that connects your heart and other parts of the body, making you more likely to acquire heart disease. On the contrary, the consumption of excess alcohol also puts a person at risk of heart disease. Thus, quitting smoking and restricting alcohol intake is a must if you wish to keep your heart healthy.
Heart disease, if left untreated, can turn out to be a silent killer. Thus, it is imperative that you keep an eye on your heart health, monitor your heart health at home, and reach out to a doctor as soon as possible if you suspect signs and symptoms of an unhealthy heart.