Ways to a Healthy Heart

Ways to a Healthy Heart

It is alarming to know that over a million people suffer a heart attack yearly in the U.S. and more alarming is that about half of them never survive. While heart attacks can be fatal, they can be easily avoided.

Know Yourself

If you are diabetic, you are at a greater risk of getting a heart disease. This risk is even higher if a member of your family has had a heart attack or stroke. While you may not be able to change history, you can definitely take precautionary steps from being a victim of a heart attack.

Reduce Weight

Weight in absolute numbers is not a method to determine obesity. The body mass index (BMI) is a better method as it compares a person’s weight and height. A Body Mass Index (BMI) over 25 indicates overweight. Obesity is another major risk factor for coronary heart disease.

Keep Track of Your Blood Pressure and Cholesterol Readings

The leading causes of heart attacks and strokes are high blood pressure and high cholesterol. It is essential to keep your blood pressure low, ideally at the normal range 120/80. However, medical practitioners nowadays are of the opinion that a blood pressure of 110/70 would be better. Check your fasting lipoprotein profile and keep it within the desired range.

Balanced Diet

Foods that are high in fat and cholesterol are unhealthy for the heart and should be avoided. Increase the consumption of fruits and vegetables as these contain antioxidants.

Physical Activities

Engage in physical activities three to four times a week. A 30-minute workout will be very beneficial for your heart. Any activity that increases the heart rate is good – swimming, brisk walking, cycling, etc. Use the stairs instead of the elevator. Park your car further from your destination and walk.

* A word of caution: Consult your medical practitioner on your medical fitness before embarking on any physical activity

Relax

Stress can cause a lot of damage to your health, especially the heart. Take it easy – relax and unwind or meditate. Taking slow deep breaths and exhaling slowly does wonders to your mind and heart.

Do NOT Smoke

Much has been said about the dangers and risks of smoking. Give up smoking if you are a smoker. Smoking is another serious risk factor not only for heart disease but also other illnesses.

By: Anna