Reduce Risk of Heart Disease - Act Now
A healthy lifestyle is all about good habits, diet and exercise which have been proved to lower the risk of heart disease.
Top Eight Ways For A Healthy Heart
1. A Heart Healthy Diet comprises of foods low in trans fat, saturated fat, sodium and refined sugars. Vitamins and nutrient rich foods should be consumed in ample quantities. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains and nuts lower the risk of heart disease. Antioxidants hold the secret to a healthy heart.
2. Get Moving - Those who lead sedentary lives without exercise suffer increased risk of heart disease, compared to those who engage in moderate forms of physical activity. It is important to exercise at least 30 minutes in a day for cardiovascular fitness. Aerobic exercise like brisk walking, swimming cycling, and jogging are good to promote cardiovascular fitness, though medical advice should be sought before commencement of any exercise program.
3. Control Hypertension -This is crucial to offset risks of heart disease. The best way to control blood pressure is through diet, exercise, weight management and medication (as prescribed by a specialist).
4. Quit Smoking - Smokers carry double the risk of having a heart attack as compared to non smokers. Passive smokers are also in the risk category. Never be tempted to smoke and if you do, simply quit.
5. Improve Cholesterol Levels - The risk for heart disease escalates with increase in total cholesterol. The cholesterol reading for healthy adults should be below 200 mg/dl. HDL, which is called as the good cholesterol, should be above 40 mg/dl in men and 50 mg/dl in women, the higher the better. For healthy adults, LDL should be below 130 mg/dl.A diet which is low in cholesterol, saturated and trans fat is the best way to keep bad cholesterol at bay. Exercise is a must to reduce levels of bad cholesterol and increase levels of good cholesterol. In some cases, doctors prescribe medications to help manage unhealthy cholesterol levels.
6. Control Diabetes - Uncontrolled diabetes can cause heart damage. Diabetes can be controlled by taking appropriate medication, following a strict diet, exercise and weight management.
7. Weight Management - Excess weight is a strain on the heart. Excessive weight increases the risk of many other chronic illnesses. High cholesterol and triglycerides, diabetes, and high blood pressure are conditions, which can be triggered due to excessive weight gain. Appropriate lifestyle changes to include healthy diet and exercise may be the best way to knock off weight gain.
8. Manage Stress and Anger - Anger and stress escalate chances of heart attack and stroke. Appropriate coping strategies to reduce stress and anger can lower heart attack risks. Anger management and relaxation techniques can go a long way in improving heart health.
The ascent of heart disease was best explained by Dr. Enas A. Enas, director of CADI research foundation, USA, who said, "Genetics load the gun. Environment pulls the trigger."
On World Heart Day, let us give our best shot towards keeping our heart healthy. Avoid heart breaks by understanding what it takes to keep the heart alive and beating!
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