We are all aware of the basics of a healthy heart, but unfortunately we pick on a few habits along the way without realizing that they are wreaking havoc on our hearts. The heart pumps blood to the entire body, making it a vital part of our existence. In most cases, our harmful activities, whether it be negligence or social pressure, affect the heart first. Cardiovascular diseases are notorious, because of which they have earned the tag of the number one killer in India. We need to take extra care of this organ, as in most cases the victim is always the heart.
So, what can we do to prevent any heart nemesis? Can diet and lifestyle changes really help you fight a heart related disease? Medical research says yes. Below you’ll find the top tips for a healthy heart.
• Eat more cardiac-friendly foods
This entails incorporating five portions of fresh fruits, vegetables, dried fruits, nuts and seeds a day in your diet. All processed foods like cookies, candy and junk food need to be eliminated from your diet. The worst culprit are the soda and packed juices. You’ll see a vast difference as soon as you stop consuming these as they are sugar dense without the fibre and benefits of real fruits. Verify which bread is good for health before including it in your daily diet.
• Adopt an exercise formula- 30 minutes x 5 days
In order to keep heart diseases at bay, you need to move! Pick an activity you like- be it yoga, dancing, swimming or simply brisk walking. You must include a moderate intensity workout for 30 minutes at least five days of the week. In case of a high intensity workout, you can reduce the duration to half. This new routine will not only reduce the chances of a cardio vascular disease but also diabetes, metabolic syndrome and breast cancer, amongst other diseases.
• Say no to gadgets
Learn to say no to gadgets post 8pm. Although we are aware of the fact that gadgets have a harmful impact on our health, however, they have become impossible to avoid considering the digitally-driven lives that we lead today. Completely eliminating their use from our lives is out of the question, instead we can make an effort to avoid gadgets post 8 PM. The blue light which is emitted by the gadgets interferes with your sleep pattern and increase the chances of a cardio vascular disease further.
• Sleep for seven hours
Make sure you get a minimum of seven hours of sleep a day. Today’s lifestyle makes it difficult for one to do so, but once you understand the risks associated with poor sleep habits, you’ll think twice. Those who sleep less than six hours double up their risk of cardiovascular disease, including heart attack and stroke! This is because a lack of sleep stands in the way of an efficient biological process and can affect your blood pressure and any underlying heart condition.
• Know your blood pressure
You would be surprised to know that half of the people who have high blood pressure do not know about their condition! In an ideal scenario, if you are between 18 and 30 years old, you should get your blood pressure checked every three years. If you are older than 30 years, you must make it a point to get it checked every year. A good diet and lifestyle changes help you stabilise your blood pressure. You should consume whole wheat bread or other healthy food options.