A healthy heart is the focal point of a healthy lifestyle.
Yet, so many of us overlook the importance of our healthy heart.
According to estimates mentioned by the Indian Heart Association, India accounts for 60% of the world’s heart issues.
A study published by the World Health Organization (WHO) reported that cardiovascular disease (CVD) leads to 2 million deaths annually in India, causing 20.3% of the total male deaths and 16.9% of the total female deaths each year.
We underplay the risk of heart disease in India because we are uninformed of the facts that surround it. Heart disease is daunting, but there is a lot that we can do to prevent it.
If you want to keep your heart healthy, you need to be more observant.
Before you start making drastic changes and taking ill-advised supplements, you need to understand more about what puts you at risk.
Risk Factors for Heart Disease
These are the factors that increase your risk of heart disease:
- Excessive body fat
- Heavy smoking or drinking
- Unhealthy diets
- Lack of physical activity
- High cholesterol
- High blood pressure
If one or more of these risk factors describe your current health status, you are at risk of heart disease. It is important that you consult a doctor as soon as possible.
Given the current situation worldwide, it may be troublesome for you to physically visit a doctor or hospital. However, with online medical portals like Docty, you can consult doctors and book lab tests with ease.
You must get regular check-ups and necessary treatment from medical professionals if you are at risk of heart disease. The earlier you identify issues, the better you will be prepared to address them.
On the other hand, if you are safe from any of the mentioned risk factors, there are certain measures that you should take to ensure that your heart remains healthy.
5 Simple Steps for a Healthy Heart
Here are five ways to maintain a healthy heart:
1. Modify Your Diet
The obvious dietary change for better healthy heart is reducing your salt, fat, and sugar intake. These three are some of the biggest contributors to high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and obesity.
But aside from skimping on these meal constituents, you can also add more fruits and vegetables to your diet, eat dark chocolate or drink red wine in moderation, consume foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids (spinach, walnuts, soy, fish like salmon& tuna), and add in herbs and spices to replace salt.
2. Manage Your Stress
Addressing and lowering your stress levels can help lower high blood pressure and prevent heart attacks.
Managing stress is not about removing stress factors but finding ways to cope with them. Time management strategies for work, regular physical activity, open communication with family and friends, and a proper sleep schedule will help you reduce the impact of stress by effectively reducing your cortisol (stress hormone) levels.
3. Try to be Happy
Ironic as it may be, living happily is not just a consequence of a healthy heart, it is a contributor to it.
Higher happiness levels mitigate stress and help promo tea healthier lifestyle. You can increase your happiness through therapy sessions for mental health, getting a pet, regular exercise, and laughing more. Reports from the American Heart Association (AHA) indicate that laughing can decrease arterial inflammation and raise high-density lipoprotein (HDL – good cholesterol) levels.
4. Change Your Routine
If you are not already living your healthiest life, a change in routine can be the simplest way to rectify that. And it is not all about big changes.
Simple acts like maintaining good oral hygiene, taking the stairs or going for walks along scenic routes, dancing, playing more with your kids or pets, and keeping time aside for meditation can help improve your heart.
5. Stay Away from Risk Factors
Keeping track of your health and staying away from risk factors is as important as a healthy lifestyle.
Our health deteriorates when we consume an excessive amount of alcohol, smoke cigarettes or are around smokers (second-hand smoke), and eat a lot of junk food. Even a few slip-ups can undo a lot of progress. Furthermore, it is hard to assess your health without getting tests done. Factors like blood pressure do not have any symptoms. You need to keep track of your health stats.