How to keep your heart healthy?
Keeping your heart healthy is very important, but not everyone know how to do that. Although it is relatively easy, we must know that keeping your heart healthy mainly depends on having a healthy lifestyle. This means that you must include certain healthy habits in your daily activities and avoid habits that are bad for your heart, your circulatory system, and your overall health. In this article, we will explain the main habits which are either good or bad for your heart.
Healthy habits that keep your heart healthy
Perform Physical Activity Periodically
Exercising periodically helps to maintain your body and your heart healthy. It is recommended to perform moderate physical activity, appropriate to your physical condition, for 30 minutes or more, at least 3 times a week.
Likewise, many studies have shown that sitting for hours can increase your risk of having both a heart attack and a stroke. So, if you have a job that involves spending a large part of your day sitting, you can take some breaks to get up and activate your circulatory system, especially in your legs. The same applies if you usually spend many hours sitting while watching TV or playing games on mobile.
Eating a Varied Diet
Eating a varied diet that includes healthy foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, unsaturated fat, and good proteins (like beans, nuts, fish, and poultry), will help your body to control your weight, blood pressure, and cholesterol. This is very important to reduce the chances of developing heart disease since overweight, hypertension, and hypercholesterolemia are included among its main risk factors.
It is also very important to avoid eating processed and salty foods, fast digestion carbohydrates, red meat in excess, sodas and other sugar-sweetened beverages. In fact, reducing the salt intake can help you to control your blood pressure without taking medication or requiring a lower dose of them. So, instead of using salt, you can condiment your foods with natural herbs and spices.
It is necessary that you do not confuse balanced feeding with overfeeding because it can also cause overweight, a very important risk factor to develop heart diseases as we will explain later.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
The weight is not just a matter of looking good. Maintaining a healthy weight is very important to reduce your chances of having heart disease and other overall health problems. So, knowing your Body Mass Index (BMI) or even undergoing an impedancemetry to know the percentage of muscle, bone, and mass that compose your body is very important in heart disease prevention.
You must also know that, if you are overweight, reducing your weight just by 5 or 10% can make the difference and reduce your chances to develop heart disease. Likewise, clinical researchers have demonstrated that waist measurements have a close relationship with the risk of developing heart or metabolic diseases. In fact, waist measurements have been included among the criteria to diagnose the metabolic syndrome.
Take care of your mental health
Although many people think that mental health is not related to other functions of the body, people with depression, socially isolated, or without good social support can have a greater risk of developing heart disease. So, talking to your doctor, a family member, or a close friend can help you to reduce stress, anxiety, and sadness and overcome any mood disorder.
Avoid bad habits for your heart health
Smoking increases your risk of developing blood clots and atheroma plaques on the walls of your blood vessels, which can interrupt the normal blood flow and affect both your heart and your brain, thus causing heart attacks or strokes. Cigarettes and tobacco also contain many toxins and free radicals that damage cells in different organs of your body, including your heart, brain, and kidneys.
It is also important to say that living with someone who smokes also increases your risk of developing all those conditions. For example, you can develop a heart disease from secondhand smoke.
If you drink alcohol, please drink less than one glass a day. Although in the past many people recommended a glass of wine a day to improve your heart health, recent studies have shown that there is no such thing as “recommended or healthy amount of alcohol”.
In conclusion, a failure in the control of all the risk factors like high cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, and uncontrolled diabetes increase the risk of heart disease. Therefore, it is important to take your treatments and follow strict controls of your illnesses and your overall health under your GP supervision.
Likewise, a healthy lifestyle can help you to keep your heart and body healthy. But, remember that it is always important to follow periodic check-ups with your doctor to detect any problem and treat it on time.