A heart-healthy lifestyle is a set of steps that enhance your heart health and reduce your risk of not just heart attacks but also other vascular incidents such as stroke.
Here are some of the best tips to follow:
● Eating a healthy diet - A healthy diet does not mean not eating anything. It simply means that what you consume should be in the right proportion and quantity to what your body requires. In this context, it is important to understand the difference between good and bad fats. Bad fats or saturated and trans fats can lead to the deposition of cholesterol in your vessels and fat in your body through the medium of a specific kind of transport Lipo protein known as LDL. On the other hand, good fats work in reverse fashion, and some of these are needed to ensure the proper functioning of different body parts, such as our brain. You can get a better understanding of a healthy diet for your heart in our article here.
● Your activity level - Activity and exercise are different, and both benefit your heart. Activity simply means how dynamic you are throughout the day. For example, you are generally active if you are a person who frequently does a lot of tasks as a part of your job. However, if you have a sedentary job or are required to sit for long periods, it is essential to take short breaks in between and take a walk or increase your level of activity, such as playing a quick game of table tennis.
● Exercising and improving heart health - Regular exercise for at least 30 minutes, ideally for over an hour, can help you build up your cardiac capacity and exercise tolerance. Besides simply improving cardiac capacity, exercise reduces your chances of developing various heart conditions, such as coronary atherosclerosis. You can read more about the best exercises you can do to ensure your heart health in our article here.
● Maintain a healthy weight - Being overweight or obese, especially in the middle part of your body, increases the risk of heart disease. Excess weight is also closely associated with other conditions such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or type 2 diabetes mellitus. A quick way to understand if you are overweight is to check your BMI or body mass index. If you have a BMI of 25 or above, it is better not to just work on reducing your weight and ensure that you check your cholesterol, blood pressure, and sugar levels regularly.
● Ensuring that you get quality sleep - Lack of adequate sleep can lead to the risk of obesity, high blood pressure, heart attack, diabetes, or depression. Most adults need at least 7 hours of sleep every night. It is best to follow a consistent sleep schedule to get high-quality sleep. The number of hours you sleep is not the only factor for quality sleep. Your sleep must pass through all phases without interruptions for it to be proper. Suppose you have other conditions that affect your ability to sleep, such as prostate conditions that force you to get up to go to the bathroom at night. In that case, correcting the problems as early as possible is advisable to ensure that the lack of sleep does not lead to even more complications. If you still feel tired after sleeping, you may have a condition called sleep apnea which reduces the amount of oxygen available and makes you wake up in between gasping for air. Loud snoring and stopping breathing for a short time during sleep may be a sign of sleep apnea if noticed by your partner.
● Manage your anxiety and stress - Stress is a normal part of our day-to-day lives, so it is essential to reduce stress by including healthy habits as part of your routine. In addition, taking part in hobbies or participating in group activities for practising meditation and yoga are known to reduce anxiety and stress.
● Quit smoking - Smoking can lead to direct and indirect effects that can damage your blood vessels, heart, and lungs. Cigarette smoke also reduces the oxygen in the blood and briefly increases heart rate and blood pressure. The risk of heart disease starts dropping within a day of quitting, so it is vital to work on your habit and pursue more healthy habits instead. If you are a smoker and your quitting, it is best to seek help and not resort to other habits such as overeating or overuse of alcohol.
●Checkups to keep risk under control - It is advisable to pursue regular checkups on four factors that might indicate poor cardiovascular health.