Heart Health

How to Keep Your Heart Healthy — Top 10 effective ways | by Sougat Sarkar | Sep, 2021

Sougat Sarkar

Heart disease is one of the major causes of death worldwide. Factors such as your diet, alcohol, cigarette consumption, blood pressure, and daily activities impact your heart health. So, you should focus on keeping your heart healthy.

Photo by Darius Bashar on Unsplash

The best way to look after your heart and prevent heart disease is by strengthening your heart. It can be done by regular exercise. There are a variety of exercises that you can add to your daily routine. And that will enhance your heart’s strength and overall health.

Here below are the best exercises that will help you strengthen your heart.

· Walking

It may sound easy, but walking may help to strengthen your heart if you are consistent. Walking can be a great way to start your day. It will boost your heart rate with less effort rather than doing any other heavy exercise. A thorough survey was conducted between November 2010 and May 2012 that explains the benefits and results of walking.

· Riding cycle

Riding your cycle can do a lot more than just transporting you from one place to another. It helps lower your risk of heart disease. You work your leg muscles while cycling, which helps to raise the heart rate. It will also help in strengthening the heart muscles and reducing the blood fat level.

· Hitting the gym and weight training

Weight training is the most effective exercise that you can do for your heart health. Weightlifting helps your heart and general health by burning fat and strengthening muscles throughout your body. You can use resistance machines that are an efficient way to work certain areas of the body. For example, a leg press machine will help you work your lower body and that will enhance your blood flow. It will also help your body to maintain strength.

2. Watch your salt intake

Most likely, your blood pressure is elevated if there is a greater quantity of salt in your diet and this leads to heart disease and increases the chances of stroke. Your daily intake of salt should be no more than 6g for adults and 3g for children. However, it would be more effective if you don’t add any extra salt to your food. A minimum amount of salt during cooking is sufficient enough. Also, while purchasing packaged foods, check the labels and avoid items that are high in sodium.(consider avoiding foods that contain more than 1.5g salt per 100).

3. Quit smoking

There is a long connection between heart disease and smoking. Based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the impact of smoking is responsible for approximately 480,000 deaths every year. When the smoke enters your lungs, the chemicals inside it mix with your blood which can damage your heart, and eventually, it will cause CVD( Cardiovascular Disease). It is a generic term that refers to multiple hearts and blood disorders like heart attack, stroke, coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, and aneurysms.

4. Stop consuming alcohol

Alcohol consumption can result in high blood pressure, damage to the heart muscles, and abnormal heart rhythms. But you don’t have to cut it completely. Men can drink over three units of alcohol whereas women can only drink below three units according to moderate alcohol consumption.

If you already are in a condition of heart disease, then alcohol consumption will increase the chances of your death. This can be particularly dangerous for people with inherited heart rate problems. Heavy drinking also leads to the first phase of arrhythmia, and if this occurs then the risks will increase in the future.

If this happens, you should stop drinking completely, then your blood pressure will improve.

5. Manage your stress levels

Stress is a major factor when it comes to diseases. When you overstress yourself, you put your heart and health in danger. In other terms, it is also known as chronic stress. Chronic stress causes high blood pressure which eventually increases the chances of a heart attack. Other than stress, depression and anxiety can also be the reason for heart attacks. People who have an anxiety disorder may suffer from inappropriate ups and downs which can also become a reason for high blood pressure or heart attack. Too much stress can cause malfunction response which promotes inflammation, and It ends up damaging the artery linings in your heart.

6. Eat healthy foods

If you don’t follow a healthy diet, nothing can improve your heart health. Doing exercise, cutting salt, stress management is secondary, The first step towards a healthy heart should be taken with a balanced diet.

Here are the foods you should consider eating :

· lots of fruits and veggies.

· numerous starches such as bread, rice, potatoes, and pasta. Pick varieties of whole grains whenever possible.

· meat, fish, eggs, beans, and other non-dairy sources for protein.

7. Minimize saturated fat

Your body requires healthy fats so that they can provide energy. However, too much-saturated fat can lead to cholesterol buildup in your arteries. Saturated fats add to your LDL( low-density lipoprotein)cholesterol. Food like butter, ghee, fatty meats, cakes, fatty milk has a high amount of saturated fat. So you should prefer semi-skimmed milk and low-fat dairy products instead of those foods with high saturated fats. Rather than frying your meat, try to steam or broil.

8. Consume less sugar

We all know Sugar tastes great, but a little can do a lot — especially if it’s about your health. People who consume a great deal of added sugar are likely to die from heart disease.

It not only affects your heart but also promotes weight gain. Patton says “A diet high in sugar can contribute to obesity. And obesity drives up the risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol — all of which can increase the risk of developing heart disease”. Though weight isn’t the real problem here, Patton also quotes “A high-sugar diet is bad for you, no matter what you weigh”. In addition to “If you eat a lot of sweets and processed foods, you’re probably not getting enough of the good stuff, like the fruits, vegetables and whole grains that are part of a heart-healthy diet.”

9. Get enough sleep

Getting enough sleep is very crucial for keeping your heart healthy. You might higher risk of cardiovascular disease if you don’t sleep enough. Sleep is necessary for every age group of people. One study found that 3,000 adults over the age of 45 were at the highest risk of developing heart disease who slept less than six hours per night than adults who slept longer than six to eight hours.

10. Keep the weight low

If your weight is heavier than it is supposed to be, your risk for high blood pressure, hypercholesterolemia, and two-type diabetes are higher than normal. To lose those extra pounds of weight, you have to cut down on sugar and saturated fat. With that, you also have to minimize the consumption of alcohol. You should eat more fruits and vegetables with regular exercise. It will eventually help you to keep your heart healthy.

Conclusion

All the factors we have discussed above are the major causes and solutions for heart health. If the case is serious and you haven’t taken any action for it from the beginning, you should reach out for help first by consulting the doctor.

To keep your heart healthy, you may have to sacrifice your comfort zone and exercise that body while maintaining a healthy balanced diet. It can be pretty painful to full cut sugar and alcohol but you have to do it to maintain your heart health.


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