How Heart Healthy Are You?

by Dr. Enozia Vakil on  February 26, 2013 at 12:56 PM Health In Focus
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Your heart is the most important organ of your body. Every day, it supplies liters of blood to different organs, keeping them healthy and alive. With time, however, the heart becomes weaker and loses its capacity to take strain just as any other organ of your body.
How Heart Healthy Are You?
How Heart Healthy Are You?

Excessive smoking and alcohol consumption, stress, depression, processed food consumption and many other similar lifestyle disorders only add to the degeneration and exhaustion of heart tissue, which is why it is important to start taking steps to maintain cardiovascular health right after you cross your 30's.

Here are some of the methods that you could use to evaluate your heart health.

Veggie servings: The number of veggie servings you have everyday puts a great impact on your heart health. Processed, fatty foods are undoubtedly going to clog your arteries some day. Check if your consumption of processed foods is more than your veggie servings.

Belly fat: Your belly fat is like a time bomb. Studies have shown that people having a waist circumference of more than 35 inches, particularly women, have a much greater risk of dying of heart disease. Ask your doctor if your waist matches your height-weight ratio.

Resting heart rate: The RHR, or resting heart rate, can reveal a lot about your heart health. Try checking your heart rate right after you get up in the morning. Count the number of pulses you feel in 10 seconds and multiply by 6; if it falls between 60 and 80, you have a good heart rate.

Heart rate recovery: Heart rate recovery basically means how fast your heart rate stabilizes after you've done some moderate exercise. The lower your heart rate recovery, the better your heart health, and the lower is your risk of suffering from cardiac disease. Here's how to measure your heart rate recovery-

Subtract your age from 220 and multiply by 0.6-this is your low end of target heart rate. Similarly, subtract your age from the number 220 and multiply by 0.8 for your upper target heart rate. Now, once you start exercising and reach that 'zone', stop and take your pulse. One minute after exercising, again take your pulse and then find the difference between the two. If the number so obtained is equal to or less than 12, you have a healthy heart.

Source: Medindia

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